Blog: Creating Safer, Stronger Networks with VisNet® Hub
23 November 2020
Low voltage (LV) monitoring has been largely overlooked for many years, but the need for transparency regarding the LV grid has never been greater as we transition to a decarbonised, decentralised, democratised and digitalised world.
The energy system is undergoing a transformation with a radical shift in the way we generate electricity, allowing us to use it for new purposes, like powering cars or cooling our homes. This transition will put pressure on the low voltage infrastructure that delivers power to homes and businesses.
Each cable has a finite capacity – operating the cable above this capacity will cause damage, ultimately resulting in the lights going out. The LV networks are highly passive in their operation, and to date, monitoring has been limited. Where it does it exist, it is only deployed for a single purpose.
Lack of visibility of distribution substation performance
Historically, LV monitoring is very much the ‘poor cousin.’ In contrast, high-voltage monitoring is well researched and established because of the more significant potential for dramatic outages affecting large numbers of customers and the ease of pinpointing problems through computer systems.
There are millions of LV substations installed around the world, most of which are not closely monitored. Without real-time monitoring of distribution substations, there’s a knowledge gap that makes it difficult to improve network efficiency and flexibility.
What does VisNet Hub do?
VisNet® Hub is different. It allows monitoring to be carried out in Distribution substations in real time for a number of purposes, efficiently and cost-effectively. Designed to push intelligence to the network edge, it incorporates EA Technology’s low voltage common application platform, which, like an Android or iOS device, enables users to deploy new applications and algorithms, meaning that the functionality of VisNet® Hub goes beyond simple measurement.
VisNet® Hub checks the voltage and current data on every LV feeder. It uses this data to provide insights about the load, faults and condition of individual devices across the network.
This data is critical to network operators as it allows them to improve both network flexibility and efficiency, together with security and quality of supply, as distributed energy resources become more widespread. Fault detection, prediction and location all become easier, with reduced uncertainty making maintenance simpler and quicker,and helping to avoid/minimise average outage duration.
The VisNet® Hub platform futureproofs network monitoring and reporting, provides insights to be gathered locally and consolidated centrally, allows operators to use the data to make informed decisions, reducing monitoring and maintenance costs and providing local intelligence for future planning.