Georgia Power to pilot new Centrix technology for feeder, distribution automation

Source: Efacec Advanced Control Systems

Global energy leader Efacec ACS has announced a deal to provide Georgia Power with Centrix, an innovative template-based smart grid solution that simplifies the implementation process and increases flexibility and functionality for electric utility feeder and distribution automation. 

Georgia Power's Leslie Sibert, Vice President of Distribution, said, "We will be implementing Centrix as part of a centralized fault isolation and restoration pilot program. Georgia Power selected this solution as part of our continuing efforts to deploy key Smart Grid functionality in a scalable and cost-effective way." 

Until now, utilities have had essentially two choices for feeder and distribution automation -- a distributed, rules-based system or a centralized, model-driven system. The first approach is relatively easy to deploy but lacks the power and flexibility needed to deal with multiple fault occurrences, multiple vendor hardware, or changing needs over time. The network model utilized in the second approach provides a more robust solution, but can be pricey to install and maintain. 

Thanks to the latest innovation from Efacec ACS, there is now a better way. Centrix combines advantages of both approaches and yields the functionality and capability of advanced model-driven distribution automation applications with a platform that is easy to configure and deploy. 

Centrix uses a variety of custom network templates which have multiple devices that may be activated or ignored in order to customize system architecture - or to readily adjust for future growth or a change in equipment or priorities. It creates a unique "island based" configuration for feeder restoration and optimization. 

Centrix' installation costs are similar to a decentralized system, yet it uses a true network model that incorporates existing and future devices and technologies to deliver a combination of advanced smart grid applications, including load flow, fault detection isolation and restoration (FDIR), loss minimization, interactive volt-var control (IVVC), and more. 

"Centrix is the latest manifestation of pioneering automation applications first developed by ACS in the late 1990's," said Gary Ockwell, Chief Technology Officer for Efacec ACS. "We have developed this new approach with key input from the Georgia Power team, and we are thrilled to be working with them on this important pilot program." 

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