energycioinsights

Advanced Control Systems: Power Grids Augmented with Real-Time Information

CIO VendorKevin, Sullivan CEO
The energy industry is undergoing significant change, driven by new business models and the disruptive effect arising from the proliferation of Distributed Energy Resources (DER). This is further complicated as a result of the fuel switching, multi-directional power flow, and changing consumer needs and expectations. Increased competitiveness, extreme weather conditions, new and disruptive technologies, aging infrastructure, big data, system security, and resiliency requirements are challenging energy companies to manage a sustainable business while keeping their customers satisfied.

Our systems have helped by improving the capabilities of the power grid and now we are able to help customers optimize their grid assets in real-time


“The ability to optimize current grid assets and address the disruptive effect of new technologies is paramount to ensuring a sustainable business. Our company deploys advanced control technology to support utilities with these challenges.” says Kevin Sullivan, CEO, Advanced Control Systems ™ (ACS). In order to support energy organizations with the management of this complex landscape, ACS partners with utilities to develop a strategic technology roadmap that optimizes asset deployment and improves energy delivery. “We enable utilities to respond more effectively to events with improved safety measures and reliability, while engaging the consumer with greater awareness of energy consumption using effective real-time communication,” he adds.

The company’s smart grid solution follows an innovative plan to leverage communications to enable the flow of real-time information from the energy provider to the consumer and receive real-time consumer feedback. The solution has been leveraged to facilitate a data channel that enables suppliers to connect with their industrial, commercial, and residential customers.
The company’s smart grid solution follows an innovative plan to leverage communications to enable the flow of real-time information from the energy provider to the consumer and receive real-time consumer feedback. The solution has been leveraged to facilitate a data channel that enables suppliers to connect with their industrial, commercial, and residential customers.

The firm’s flagship offering, Precision Real-time Information System Management (PRISM ™), has a host of features designed to help utilities manage the energy within the distribution grid. The portfolio of solutions includes effective ways to upgrade and replace Remote Terminal Units (RTUs) to accommodate digital technology, parallel communications and precise control to optimize the delivery of energy. “Our advanced automation platform can react in real-time with rapid control of assets to ensure accuracy and efficiently redirect power during outages,” informs Sullivan.

The scalable PRISM platform includes effective integration of other systems like Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and Distribution Management Systems (DMS). The platform also supports components like Outage Management Systems (OMS) and Energy Management Systems (EMS) solutions which are widely employed in the field to detect and mitigate disturbances in the network faster. “Our systems have helped by improving the capabilities of the power grid and now we are able to help customers optimize their grid assets in real-time,” says Sullivan.
The responsive capability of PRISM was experienced by a Georgia-based investor-owned utility, during the February 2014 ice storm in Atlanta. The ice storm created numerous faults in the power grid and an effective switching solution was needed to ensure constant supply. With the system's Fault Detection Isolation and Restoration (FDIR) technology installed on approximately 220 feeders at the time, the energy provider was able to effectively meet this challenge. This platform helped detect and isolate faults in addition to creating a plan to restore service to the areas upstream and downstream of the faulted feeder sections. This resulted in over five-million customer minutes of interruption (CMI) being saved during the outage.

ACS attributes much of its success to the investments made in product development. Many ideas like The Human Grid, proactive consumer engagement, improving power quality, increasing network reliability, and renewable energy sources in the grid come out of R&D and thought leadership to benefit ACS customers. ACS is aware of market trends and has automation product lines which include a wide range of flexible and cost-effective substation, distribution, and feeder automation solutions. It also leverages mobile technology and devices to create a channel for consumers to actively participate in support and recovery efforts by sending outage-related information directly to the energy provider.