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Introducing VisNet Hub apps for LV monitoring

To aid effective decision making, electrical network operators need access to the right, up to date information about their network assets. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications we’ve developed for the VisNet product ecosystem help customers achieve that.

Cost effective and reliable low voltage (LV) monitoring has never been more important. Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) such as electric vehicles, heat pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) installations and batteries have put increased pressure on electrical assets. VisNet Hub is an innovative, low-cost LV monitoring device that provides unrivalled real-time network visibility.

The VisNet apps process the raw data collected by the sensors to provide enriched information and insights about the network and deliver timely alerts of issues. Supplied on a SaaS basis, the apps are up to date as software, firmware and security updates are delivered ‘over the air’ (OTA), minimising the need for engineers to visit the VisNet Hub on site.

The current portfolio of apps falls into four App Families – Reliability, Capacity, Quality of Supply and Local Integration. The apps and the insights they provide can be used by different users and teams for different purposes. Operations teams may use the data to proactively address issues that impact the customers, while network planners may examine the historic data to assess where future investments and upgrades need to be made.

Reliability

The LV distribution network has grown and evolved over the past century and now consists of assets of different ages and levels of quality, causing reliability issues for network owners and operators. Using real-time monitoring to quickly identify and resolve these issues will minimise the impact on customers and the community.

The Reactive Operations app uses LV monitoring data to enable teams to quickly detect and respond to faults and outages to improve reliability and reduce downtime. The insights gained also provide the data required for asset management and planning teams to optimise maintenance schedules and long-term investments.

The Proactive Operations app is designed to allow network operators to identify potential faults in the LV network before they occur and cause a loss of supply. Using data from LV monitors, the app can help anticipate and prevent faults and outages, ensuring a reliable supply to customers and reducing maintenance and repair costs.

Capacity

The changes in the electrical grid, in large part driven by the push towards decarbonisation, include both increased consumption and generation and mean that the grid must operate closer to its thermal and voltage limits. The Circuit Capacity and Transformer Capacity apps help operators to monitor demand across LV feeder circuits in real time to identify areas that are experiencing higher demand and deliver alerts when circuits and transformers approach, reach, or exceed their operating limits.

Quality of supply

The increased use of DERs is impacting local voltage levels and power quality. Localised insights on power quality are now essential to help proactively address these challenges.

The Power Quality app provides timely insights on the changing dynamics of the LV network by monitoring factors such as voltage fluctuations and more granular issues like flicker and dips. The app is designed to alert operators to significant power quality issues and monitor the progression of potential problems so they can be addressed proactively.

Local integration

VisNet Hub provides an array of input/output connectivity options including EA Technology sensors and devices, as well as third-party interfaces. The Local Integration App Family allows monitoring of these devices, as well as providing insights from the data gathered.

The ALVIN Device Support app provides visibility on the status of connected ALVIN Reclose² auto-reclosers and allows easy installation and commissioning. The Temperature Sensor app provides easy access to transformer temperature data from the optional approved sensor accessory.

The VisNet apps provide an effective way for network operators to gather enriched insights about different aspects of their LV networks and proactively manage their assets as requirements and demands evolve.

Click here to find out more about the range of VisNet products and services.

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