Results of the VII International Science and Technology Conference "Development and Reliability Improvement of Distribution Networks"

Dates: July 13-14, 2022.
Venue: International Trade Center, Moscow

Organizer: PJSC "ROSSETI".
Co-organizer: "ELECTRIC POWER. Transmission and Distribution" journal.
In association with: CIS Electric Power Council, National Research University "Moscow Power Engineering Institute", Melentiev Energy Systems Institute of the Siberian Branch of the RAS.
Partners: JSC “UNECO”, Tavrida Electric Group of companies, Association ERA Rossii, Encore Engineering, PROMENERGO LLC, FORENERGO MA, POLYPLASTIC Group LLC, "EASTENERGYSERVICE" LLC.

The event was devoted to the topical issues for distribution electrical networks and the most effective solutions capable of ensuring its optimal functioning and development.

The main conference thematic lines were:

  • strategic issues of distribution networks development;
  • improving distribution networks efficiency;
  • non-standard solutions using new technologies (companies' experience);
  • work optimization and personnel safety;
  • customer service development and client interaction.

Fifty reports corresponding to afore-mentioned thematic lines were discussed.

Conference participants: 820 specialists (in person and online) from 13 CIS and non-CIS countries, including the largest power grid companies’ representatives, equipment manufacturers and service providers, experts from industry agencies and scientists.

Conference participants pointed out:

  1. Distribution grid companies should continue to implement new management systems aimed at improving services reliability and quality, while minimizing the time required to recover electric power supply in case of technological failures.
  2. Relevant solutions for the tasks of further development and reliability improvement are listed below:
    - power quality assurance using automatic voltage regulation, reactive power compensation, reducing the non-linear load impact, including areas where autonomous hybrid electric systems based on renewable energy sources (RES) and energy storage systems are used;
    - distribution networks efficiency improvement based on a comprehensive approach to justification and selection of neutral grounding systems;
    - usage of new information and analytical platforms assessing the equipment and electrical circuits reliability taking into account its condition;
    - implementation of automatic power supply disconnection system for transmission line with isolated neutral in case of line-to-earth fault and adaptive algorithms for building relay protection with distributed architecture;
    - introduction of a self-recovery automatic control system based on the use of reclosers and symmetrical operation of power distribution network;
    - novel lightning protection devices introduction and replication, up-to-date building technologies application, which are optimal for specific area;
    - work optimization and personnel safety.
  3. The transition of the distribution electrical networks to a new high-tech platform is still an critical task despite of external challenges and changing market conditions. Appropriate equipment and material implementation should be continued.
  4. An important strategic area is electric grid sector consolidation. In this context, efforts should be focused on eliminating ownerless electrical networks as well as providing their high-quality operation.
  5. It is necessary to use innovative technical solutions and technologies more widely providing power supply to consumers during the period of emergency recovery operations in 0.4-20 kV networks:
    - mobile electric units of 0.4/6-10 kV reverse transformation;
    - service lines;
    - quickly installed transmission poles of various constructions and insulating traverses;
    - expansion of live works range.
  6. It is necessary to further expand the application of technical solutions and technologies for building 0.4-20 kV networks, which ensure the operating expenses (OPEX) reduction:
    - fault location systems installation and usage;
    - reclosers and exhaust type fuse-disconnectors installation;
    - creating networks with low resistance neutral grounding;
    - application of non-heat-treated high-strength aluminum self-supporting insulated wire SIP-3 ANVP in 6-10 kV networks;
    - self-recovering lines creation;
    - bird protection devices application in some network sections;
    - usage of remote-control methods without switching off the equipment;
    - heat indicators usage.
  7. Automated hybrid power plants should be used with an appropriate feasibility study to provide power supply for "isolated" territories.
  8. It is necessary to develop communication networks while solving distribution network automatization problems. Depending on the network section responsibility level and feasibility study of options, different communication types (fiber-optic line, broadband wireless access, services of mobile network operators, etc.) should be applied.
  9. It is rational to use JSC “UNECO” experience in the construction of 20 kV distribution networks and to consider the adaptation and application of STO "20 kV electrical networks of the Megapolis. Methodological guidelines for technological designing" for ROSSETI Group.
  10. It is necessary to develop the legal framework to improve the mechanism for ensuring the safety of automation equipment in the electrical networks as a critical information infrastructure facility and to develop a systematic approach in this area.

Following the discussions of all reports, here are recommendations to power grid companies:

  1. To inform employees of ROSSETI Group and other local grid operators about the topics discussed and the results of pilot projects.
  2. To update the technical condition evaluation of distribution networks and to create programs for their reconstruction and modernization.
  3. To inform all technical managers about the capabilities and functionality of information systems developed by JSC "FTC". To organize R&D planning and implementation processes, taking into consideration the capabilities of the relevant information systems.
  4. To include in the list of R&D the following works:
    - creation of prototype system for evaluating reliability of modern distribution systems;
    - development of controlled neutral grounding technologies and automatic network sections balancing in 6-35 kV distribution networks.
    To include reports on the above R&D topics in the program of the next conference.
  5. Taking into account Russian and foreign organizations' experience presented at the conference, to improve the detecting unaccounted electricity consumption, including the application of automated systems for imbalance detection. To demonstrate practical results in the next conference reports.
  6. To continue work on introducing mobile solutions, when performing maintenance and repair work in distribution networks, including the import substitution principles.
  7. To keep implementing live work technologies in electrical networks of the ROSSETI Group's subsidiaries and affiliates. To create a list of protective equipment, insulated tools and other devices for crews performing live work, including the remote operation method in 6-10 kV networks.
  8. To focus on employee training to prepare them for working with new and modern equipment in order to perform the required operations correctly and consistently. To increase the percentage of employees training using VR- and AR-technologies relative to the total training programs volume by the end of the first half of 2023.
  9. Based on pilot projects and results of various feasibility models, to submit suggestions to the First Deputy General Director, Chief Engineer of ROSSETI, for improving technical and legal framework by November 1, 2022 in the following areas:
    - technical requirements, guidelines for selection, design, application efficiency justification and test methods for energy storage systems (ESS);
    - ESS inclusion in the market of system services and network services market formation to ensure return on investments in construction and ESS operation;
    - designing and implementing effective systems to prevent cyber-attacks;
    - ensuring the uniform names of facilities addresses while developing information systems (technological connection, GIS, interaction with customers);
    - lightning protection of 6-35 kV overhead lines;
    - ensuring necessary power quality for certain categories of consumers (oil and gas sector organizations, etc.).
  10. To extend and to improve the modern digital services quality to promptly notify customers about the situation and events in distribution electrical networks, to obtain the required information from customers.
  11. To plan the next conference in the summer of 2023, with an increased scale of the event.

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