Detect and Restore Faults with Reclosers

Reclosers and circuit breakers protect overhead power lines by opening a breaker when a fault occurs. Reclosers can usually restore power in the event of a transient power line fault. Non-transient faults can require a technician to clear the line.

With a two-way network that communicates with site components, your utility can monitor and control these elements from centralized locations, without dispatching a technician. And distribution networking can enhance functionality above and beyond what a normal recloser can achieve, such as monitoring and reporting.

Reclosers need always-on connectivity and low-latency communications across the distribution network. Our SecureMesh WAN broadband solutions, part of the Trilliant Communications Platform, provide just that, and every link is encrypted for security.

With the SecureMesh WAN broadband solutions providing distribution networking, your Smart Grid deployment can provide cost-effective communications to reclosers and circuit breakers and integrate into SCADA and distribution management systems (DMS).

With a Smart Grid network extended to reclosers, you’ll see improvements in grid reliability, better visibility into critical load information, improved asset management, and reduced operations and maintenance costs – and that means greater customer satisfaction.

Fault Detection, Isolation and Restoration (FDIR)

Reclosers and circuit breakers provide a means to protect overhead power lines by opening a breaker when a fault occurs. Unlike conventional circuit breakers and fuses, which require a technician to visit the site of an open breaker or blown fuse to restore service caused by to the fault , a recloser can automatically attempt to close the circuit. Since most overhead power line faults are transient (i.e. caused by a lightning strike),  reclosers can usually restore power. However, non-transient and certain transient faults require a technician to clear the line and/or manually control the recloser to close the circuit.

With a two-way network configured to communicate with site components, utilities have the ability to monitor and control these distribution grid elements from their centralized locations without requiring the dispatch of a technician. Distribution networking can provide enhanced functionality about and beyond what a normal recloser can achieve:

  • Centrally monitor and report circuit status (i.e. either open or closed)
  • Centrally monitor and report actions performed on the recloser
  • Transmit commands to the recloser
  • Centrally monitor and report statistics

Recloser communications do not require much bandwidth; however, due to their role in restoring power, reclosers need always-on connectivity and low-latency communications across the distribution network in order to enhance grid reliability.

The SecureMesh WAN broadband solutions provide an optimal solution for recloser communication. SecureMesh Connectors are cost-effective outdoor wireless devices that provide local Ethernet connectivity, either for a direct Ethernet connection to a recloser or for a serial (RS-232, RS-485) connection via a Ethernet-to-serial adapter, that enables communication via both legacy protocols (DNP3, Modbus) as well as TCP/IP. Each SecureMesh Connector provides long-range links (up to 7.5 miles apart) to connect remote reclosers with always-on and low-latency wireless communications. In addition, every link is encrypted for security and communications can be partitioned into virtual private networks (VPNs) for additional security and traffic guarantees.

With the SecureMesh WAN providing distribution networking, the Smart Grid deployment can provide cost-effective communications to reclosers and circuit breakers and integrate into SCADA and distribution management systems (DMS). Extending a Smart Grid network to reclosers results in improvements in grid reliability (i.e. lower SAIDI, MAIFI, CAIDI, SAIFI metrics), visibility into critical load information,  asset management, and operations and maintenance costs, which also results in improvements in customer satisfaction.

To discuss your utility’s needs, please contact us.

Learn more about the Trilliant Platform.