distribution automation
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Distribution automation smart grid
Brazil's CPFL Energia plans to apply distribution automation technology to 50 cities in the state of São Paulo. Pic credit: ABB

In Latin American news, major Brazilian electricity supplier CPFL Energia has confirmed plans to extend its smart grid programme to include distribution automation technology.

CPFL has awarded Silver Spring Networks the task of adding a distribution automation programme to its IPv6 mesh networking platform.

The technology will be used for a grid reliability programme for 50 cities in the state of São Paulo, equivalent to 4 million customers.

Under the project, more than 600 reclosers on the distribution network, supervised and controlled in real time by CPFL's operations Centre through Silver Spring's platform, will use the mesh network technology, allowing energy flow redirection to avoid service outages and accelerate system restoration.

This solution replaces data communication through cellular network.

Adding distribution automation to AMI

Commenting on the decision to improve distribution automation, Paulo Bombassaro, engineering director at CPFL Energia, said: “Normally, achieving this high level of quality, reliability and performance would be prohibitively expensive.

"But by leveraging a multi-application networking platform, CPFL is actually reducing costs while improving quality and unlocking more benefits for our consumers.”

CFPL Energia and Silver Spring have together rolled out an advanced metering infrastructure system as part of Phase one for large-scale commercial and industrial customers across the private utility's eight distribution entities.

The pair claim that the wide geographic area of the service territory involved makes this program one of the largest distribution automation initiatives in South America.

The Silver Spring Smart Grid Platform is compatible with a number of global partners, including Cooper, Eletra, Elster, Itron, Landis+Gyr, Nansen, and others in Brazil.

Distribution voltage regulation

Meanwhile, market insight company Research and Markets is predicting the global distribution voltage regulator market will grow by 4.17% up to 2019.

New data suggests that China, India, Russia, and South Africa have increased their focus to ensure grid reliability and will drive growth in the market.

Research and Markets name key vendors in the sector as ABB, Eaton, GE, Siemens, Basler Electric, Daihen, J. Schneider Elektrotechnik, Tebian Electric Apparatus, Toshiba and Utility Systems Technologies.