A worst case scenario for electric distribution utility companies is dealing with concurrent, large area, extended service outages, resulting in frustrated customers, negative community impact, high restoration costs, and poor publicity. In the U.S., for example, the estimated cost of weather-related power outages ranges from $10 to $75 billion annually.*
Over the years, many utilities have implemented Outage Management Systems (OMS) to help reduce the economic impact of service interruptions by restoring power more quickly and efficiently. And while this has been a great step forward for the industry from no such solution, technological advancements are exposing the limitation of traditional systems:
- Limited situational awareness of the real-time state of the distribution network
- Lack of advanced analysis to help with decision making processes
- Ineffective or no integration with systems that monitor and control the grid
Although traditional OMS solutions provide good value, these gaps result in an incomplete representation of the network. This can lead to difficulty in identifying fault locations, an inability to validate network switching steps, delays in power restoration, and higher probability of unsafe crew activity.
Unique ADMS capabilities
An Advanced Distribution Management System (ADMS) is the key to improved resiliency and reliability. It represents the convergence of technologies providing a comprehensive network management solution with monitoring, analysis, control, optimization, planning and training tools all sharing a common infrastructure, data model, and user experience.
This solution places the tools for outage analysis and crew dispatch alongside those for grid optimization and control creating a workflow that is more reliable and efficient.
A smarter grid requires robust tools to span network management from normal operations to emergencies. Combining an OMS – including mobile OMS applications – with the tools and benefits of a DMS creates a powerful ADMS and greatly simplifies the work of grid operators to the benefit of utilities and the customers they serve.
A detailed discussion of better outage management is available in this new white paper: “Enhancing Utility Outage Management System (OMS) Performance.” If you’re interested in further exploring how an ADMS benefits utility services, I encourage you to check out these previous blog posts.
* Curtesy of the U.S. Dept. of Energy