Distribution network operators and the energy intensive industry have for decades been investing in the automation of their medium voltage (MV) networks. Low voltage (LV) networks have remained underinvested, with little or no monitoring.
The necessity of reducing carbon footprints, however, makes it important to understand LV networks, which today serve the added function of connecting distributed generation and electrical vehicles to the grid. Measuring power quality in LV networks makes it possible to address any quality issues. Improved power quality, in turn, reduces the losses and thereby enhances the effective capacity in the networks. Building more network capacity can be avoided while, at the same time, the carbon footprint will be reduced.
Netcontrol’s Netcon 100 smart substation controller, equipped with the LVM111 card, can monitor the LV busbar of the transformer, providing comprehensive voltage, current, power and energy measurements. These include voltages sags, swells and interruptions, as well as transformer temperature. The LVM111 card also has a disturbance recorder, and the records can be automatically sent to the PQA system in the standard Comtrade file format.
The Eneida EWS DTVI, pictured above, is a more economical, free-standing device specifically for LV monitoring. Designed to fit neatly into existing LV distribution pillars and boards, it can monitor up to 18 current inputs and 3 voltage inputs. It uses a GSM or Ethernet network to forward the data to the power quality server.