Kevin Sullivan, CEOWith the advent of smart technology, the utilities landscape is undergoing a massive transformation. New and advanced utility automation systems are taking center stage in the global electric power industry. “With the landscape ever-changing, organizations are trying to grapple with a volatile supply and demand equation which makes it difficult to balance power generation with the load,” says Kevin Sullivan, CEO, Advanced Control Systems (ACS™). ACS is a major utility automation systems solution provider, Nor cross, GA, providing innovative advanced smart grid solutions to the global electric power industry.
Having decades of extensive experience in the electric power industry, Sullivan says, “We deliver intelligent power grid technology through Precision Real-time Information System Management™ (PRISM™), ensuring precise control over energy delivery in real-time to help utilities optimize the complexities of energy management.” ACS’s technology enables organizations to monitor critical information and signals on the grid in real-time. The PRISM control platform provides this information to operations and performs complex decisions in real-time to enable effective control of grid resources. For instance, using an application called fault detection, isolation and restoration (FDIR), the PRISM system effectively manages outages due to extreme events such as heavy wind or severe weather by automatically isolating damaged sections and transferring power to the parts of the grid that are still connected. It adjusts the power paths across the grid by leveraging smart sensors and real-time visibility into the network status to be able to restore power rapidly to the end-user.
The company, celebrating its 40th year, was built on providing reliable feeder and substation automation solutions and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA). This technology also sup-ports advanced distribution management systems(ADMS), transmission energy management systems (EMS)and outage management systems (OMS). ACS’s PRISM system helps deliver cost savings for utilities. It optimizes energy delivery by identifying grid faults, as well as automatically adjusting energy parameters to reduce electrical losses and increase efficiency. “With this advanced technology, we can restore power to most customers automatically and significantly reduce the impact and duration of outages,” explains Sullivan.
The moment the system operator receives information about afault, the system calculates the optimal switching plan that will restore power in the most efficient way.
We allow utilities to leverage real-time, grid-edge information controls for overall efficiency with environmentally responsible behavior, which we call Human Grid optimization
Additionally, utilities can make repairs and restore more rapidly by knowing where to dispatch a crew to the actual location of the fault. “We minimize the impact of loss of revenue by restoring power more rapidly,” adds Sullivan.
A major investor-owned utility in Georgia,began deploying ACS’s FDIR application recently to improve the reliability of its distribution grid, which already utilized a number of disparate control systems. The utility has successfully automated more than 600 of their circuits using ACS’s solution, which proved itself by saving the utility’s customers’ hours of interruption time during a recent ice storm. “The quicker our system, can restore power, the lower the loss of revenue for the utility and the more satisfied their customers are a win-win-win opportunity for all stakeholders,” says Sullivan.
ACS has also developed advanced hardware technology to deliver sophisticated intelligence within the power substation, providing another key component of modern smart grid control systems. The company leveragesits NTX™ line of “remote terminal units” (RTUs) to upgrade legacy control devices in the substation to extend the life of these assets while adding digital monitoring and modern communications capability. “Through this innovative application of our proven NTX technology, we enable utilities to reduce the time required to upgrade substations from weeks to hours which means significant cost savings to them,” asserts Sullivan.
ACS aims to develop technology that not only solves customers’ current problems but also addresses future challenges, using our long term customer technology road mapping process to encourage utilities to plan at least three years ahead. “It benefits us as well as our customers,” concludes Sullivan, “as it enables us to plan our R&D investment and share our proven innovative technology.”