Eaton Introduces Automation to the Distribution Grid
Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton has announced that it is supporting the successful deployment of smart grids by focusing on automation in Medium Voltage (MV) and Low Voltage (LV) distribution networks. The company already has proven success in this area evidenced by the role it has played in the implementation of i-Net, a smart grid initiative, led by Dutch grid manager Liander, to automate the distribution grid in a district of Amsterdam integrating Locamation’s SASensor® technology.
Eaton’s product offering for the smart grid comprises a broad range of MV and LV network solutions for the utility, commercial, industrial and residential sectors. On the LV side, Eaton offers a complete retrofit solution for transformer stations that brings transparency to the last mile of the distribution grid. This provides utility companies with an insight into the true load on the network, enabling them to prepare better for new technologies like electric vehicles, heat pumps and decentralised renewable energy sources that are increasingly being connected to it.
To meet the demands for automation in MV networks and help prevent operational downtime, Eaton recently introduced its automated Ring Main Unit (RMU), Xiria. This Xiria unit features an integrated Remote Terminal Unit (RTU) module which allows crucial data to be acquired, processed, stored and transmitted. This enables customers to monitor and control information on both the MV and transformer sides of the RMU and so reduce the possibility and length of outages.
For the i-Net project, Eaton integrated SASensor technology, designed and developed by Dutch company Locamation, into its Xiria MV switchgear allowing for an even higher level of automation in Liander’s network. Besides the capabilities of the RTU, this solution provides additional functionality like revenue metering, power quality monitoring, digital fault registration and voltage regulation control, which enabled Liander to create a partly self-healing network. The project also stands out among other smart energy efforts as it used 90% of the existing parts from the original grid making it financially feasible.
Among the other projects and pilots Eaton is participating in is the Smart Energy Collective (SEC), a leading initiative in Europe focused on the development of smart grids and services. Eaton is one of 26 partners and is involved in two of the five trial sites where its expertise and proven LV and MV technology will be instrumental to the successful design and implementation of the energy distribution infrastructure.
Eaton integrated SASensor technology into its MV switchgear to allow for a high level of automation in Liander’s network