Utilities will spend nearly $4.5 billion on conservation voltage reduction (CVR) programs from 2014 to 2020, said study results released by Boulder, Colo-based Navigant Research last week. What's more, the study found that AMI-integrated CVR is "a high-precision voltage reduction strategy that can unleash unprecedented smart grid benefits and is likely to be next on the smart grid deployment schedule."
"Dynamic voltage optimisation and conservation represents one of the major breakthroughs in the evolution of smart grid technologies," said Kristoffer Torvik, senior research analyst with Navigant, in prepared remarks. "Widespread implementation of conservation voltage reduction in the United States could save approximately 40 million MWH annually roughly equivalent to the electricity needed to power 4 million homes for one year."
The vast majority of North American utilities have yet to take full advantage of this technology, which often lies latent in the smart meter functionality, the researchers said but the need has been established. North American power T&D systems typically see annual energy losses between 7 to 10 per cent and about 2/3 of these losses are at the distribution voltage level, it added.
The report discussed cost-effective approaches to dynamic CVR, as well as the field devices and software that are used in CVR systems among them:
Primary components: Automation equipment installed at the substation including the voltage regulator/load tap changer (VR/LTC) controller set, metering set, SCADA communication controllers, substation metering application and the human-machine interface (HMI) to the application;
Secondary components: Field equipment outside the fence, throughout feeder lines and at the edge of the grid including switched capacitor banks, capacitor bank controllers, line regulators, line voltage metering sets, and smart meters;
Telecom components: Substation and field-area communication nodes such as modems, radios, routers, and repeaters, and
CVR software: Distribution management systems (DMS) with a CVR application or a dedicated Volt/VAR management system with CVR functionality and AMI integration.
Two scenarios envisioned in the report described the future growth of CVR. First was a conservative vision which would assume gradual progression through continued CVR pilot programs as part of broader Volt/VAR control deployment. The other was called an aggressive view would assume a green light from regulators to deploy CVR on a large scale.
A Smart Grid Research Consortium study found using CVR in a smart grid investment strategy can transform a poor AMI business case into an attractive one (SGT, Feb-7).
Source: Smart Grid Today
A webinar on CVR will shortly be organised by the ISGF.
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