Volt/VAR Management

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Utilities have in the past and are currently deploying field apparatus, controls, software, and communications products in order to manage distribution system VAR flow to minimize technical losses and exposure to VAR support charges from generation and transmission providers. Increasingly, utilities are also looking at products to manage distribution system voltages in order to reduce demand and energy consumption and achieve significant energy savings.

Such conservation voltage reduction (CVR) strategies reduce demand and energy consumption while maintaining customer voltage power quality per established standards. The operational benefits are improvements in energy efficiency and system voltages in the distribution system. The business benefits are a greater percentage of energy delivered to paying customers, deferment in investment in peaking generation plants and charges, and a reduction in the environmental impact of energy delivery.

Eaton's Volt-VAR Management application began as a centralized capacitor bank control management solution first deployed in 2001 for substation and feeder VAR management. In 2004, functionality was broadened to support substation and feeder voltage management. In 2009 Eaton increased the applications functionality to support Substation LTC’s and Voltage Regulators. This Yukon Volt-VAR Management application is currently deployed at a number of utilities across North America controlling over 20,000 capacitor banks. Eaton has collaborated with Volt-VAR Management customers enhancing the application functionality year over year to provide a feature rich field proven application with not just automation analysis and control, but also an easy to use user interface with maintenance, administration, and reporting functionality.

Overview

As part of the Eaton Volt/VAR Management system, the Yukon IVVC application continuously analyzes and controls load tap changers (LTCs), regulators, and capacitor banks to manage substation power factor and distribution system voltages. The operational result of implementing this control scheme is a flattening of each feeder’s voltage profile and a lowering of average voltages, resulting in significant energy savings, while managing power factor to minimize technical losses.

How It Works

The Eaton Yukon IVVC application monitors real-time voltages, watts and VARs from LTCs, regulators, capacitors, medium voltage sensors, and additional monitoring points, such as customer meters.  Using this real time set of analog measurements, the Yukon IVVC application will trigger a control period during which the real time power factor and voltage measurement set is assigned an operational cost.  The operational cost is determined from the analog measurement set compared against substation power factor and voltage targets. The Yukon IVVC application’s objective is to minimize the operational cost by managing real time power factor and voltages as close as possible to the substation power factor and voltage targets.

The Integrated Volt/VAR Control scheme combines both voltage regulation and power factor correction in real time, ensuring the optimum performance from the system to which IVVC is applied.

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Operational Results

Voltage and VARs are optimized in real time with Yukon’s IVVC application. This voltage optimization, combined with an improved power factor, results in better reliability and greater efficiency of the distribution system

Additional Functionality

In addition to the Yukon IVVC application functionality described above, the Yukon Volt-VAR Management system supports additional features that enable the cost effective maintenance and administration of this automation system. Yukon tracks asset maintenance and troubleshooting information. Yukon also reports on communications and operational statistics.

Yukon automatically flags capacitor banks for testing, either due to a testing schedule or an identified failure. Yukon will test the capacitor bank at light load during the middle night by cycling the state of the capacitor bank and verifying the operation by monitoring the VAR value changes. If an unexpected VAR change is seen on one or more phases, Yukon will flag that capacitor as failed.

Yukon supports many standardized reports necessary for system administration. Yukon has a built-in, intuitive reporting interface that can mine any archived data from the database, along with some useful configuration information. Report templates exist to present data regarding capacitor bank operations, alarms and conditions, excessive bank operation counts, as well as the report identifying failed capacitor banks as described above.

Yukon also supports data trending and data alarming. Yukon Volt-VAR Management users and administrators can interrogate trended data in the Yukon user interface. Yukon visually represents alarms in the Yukon user interface and can also generate e-mail and other alarm notifications in order to ensure that the appropriate utility personal know about alarm conditions as soon as possible.

The Yukon Volt-VAR Control (VVC) application, formerly Yukon Centralized Capacitor Control application, minimizes system VAR flow to eliminate systems losses. The net result is improved energy efficiency and feeder voltage profiles.

The Volt-VAR Management application began as a centralized capacitor bank control management solution first deployed in 2001 for substation and feeder VAR management. In 2004, functionality was broadened to support substation and feeder voltage management. This Yukon Volt-VAR Management application is currently deployed at a number of utilities across North America controlling over 20,000 capacitor banks. Eaton has collaborated with Volt-VAR Management customers enhancing the application functionality year over year to provide a feature rich field proven application with not just automation analysis and control, but also an easy to use user interface with maintenance, administration, and reporting functionality.