What Is the Performance Improvement Potential of Smart Distribution Stations?

Belgium DSO
Industry: Electricity & Gas Distribution

Big differences in life cycle costs and functionality were found in the peer group. Key cost component is not the station itself but the acquisition of the premises especially in urban areas.

Maintenance policies are often dependent on the type components: Secondary ‘smart’ components require a higher frequency. Therefore, applied methods range from time-based maintenance to predictive maintenance.

Replacement of distribution stations is mostly driven by the implementation of Distribution Automation, augmentation of transformers or replacement of MV-switchgear. Age or condition is rarely a driver for replacement.

Due to the higher costs, ‘smart’ distribution station are only built when it’s difficult to access and/or the station is of high strategic importance. Another lesson learned was that automating a critical selection of 25% of all distribution stations, resulted in a 20% reduction (4 to 6 minutes) of SAIDI. The optimal penetration degree of smart distribution stations is considered to be in the range of 25-30%.