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DMS critical for smart grid success

By Max Burkhalter
November 18, 2011
Distribution management systems are emerging as key technologies to support smart grid and other intelligent building deployments around the world, Electric, Light and Power reported.

Recent advances in smart grid technology have led to more robust supervisory, control and data acquisition systems. They have also helped reduce the system average interruption duration index of many smart grid platforms. However, the news source said none of these advances would be possible without the increased deployment of DMS solutions that enable data transmit and communication between intelligent network devices and utility meters.

The importance of communications infrastructure within smart grid networks has made DMS platforms an essential part of the technology. As a result, every utility organization should consider investing in the solution and hardware systems needed to support its capabilities, the report said.

One of the primary benefits of DMS technology is its ability to help distribution control center operators ensure reliability, efficiency and security within the network infrastructure that makes smart grid possible. The technology is also capable of maintain operating conditions by monitoring network tasks and identifying any changes and information tags within the system, according to the news source.

The operational monitoring capabilities enabled through DMS platforms also makes it easier for utility operators to identify faults in the network and respond to outages as they occur, the report said. The DMS is able to track network issues to such an extent that it is also able to receive and process fault notification from devices spread around the network. This makes the utility more responsive. The technology also enables more efficient response to outages by obtaining data about the outage when it occurs and estimating the response time needed to deal with the problem.

All of these capabilities combine to create a unified monitoring and reporting architecture throughout the smart grid network. This enables more robust communications than previously possible within smart grid systems, the news source explained.

Smart grids are rapidly becoming more popular around the world, as utility providers increasingly work to develop innovative utility systems based on the technology. According to a recent Utility Week report, the first smart meters in the UK Power Networks' Low Carbon London project were recently deployed. The pilot project is designed to trial how various residents and businesses will respond to smart grid use in the city.

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