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SSEN deploys self-restorative automation tech in Isle of Wight

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SSEN deploys self-restorative automation tech in Isle of Wight

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has finished installations on their self-restorative automation electricity technology, a system to mitigate power cuts and ensure reliability of supply. - Smart Energy

The Automated Power Restoration System (APRS) has been installed on the power network on the Isle of Wight, a £191,000 ($236,531) investment from the utility to ‘self-restore’ electricity supplies in case of any outages.

The distribution operator installed the automated system on the network supplying over 5,500 customers in areas of Cowes, Ryde and Ventnor. Power supplies to homes and businesses there can be restored faster in the event of a power cut; generally in less than three minutes.

The APRS enables the electricity network powering homes and businesses to ‘self-restore‘. The self-adapting system detects when, and where there is a fault on the network, and – if safe to do so – either chooses the most suitable alternative cable circuit to switch supplies to or sends a signal to the main control room where engineers can restore power with the push of a button.

According to SSEN, all of this is done in minutes, hoping to ensure customers are unaware of the temporary interruption to their power supply.

By investing in technology, such as APRS, SSEN is building in a further layer of resilience to electricity supplies; keeping power flowing to customers through an efficient and steady supply. While APRS can’t prevent power cuts entirely, it helps to reduce the incidence of them and the number of customers affected, by quickly switching affected supplies to a part of the network that hasn’t been impacted.

Alex King, Automation planner, SSEN

Taking 12 months to complete, the works started in 2022 and are now fully operational.

While reducing the duration of unplanned power cuts, automation also means SSEN’s engineers can investigate the actual fault faster and resolve any network issues while power is still being supplied through alternative circuits.

According to SSEN, APRS also reduces the need for engineers to physically switch power back on at source; thereby cutting unnecessary travel and allowing engineers and resources to be redirected to other areas of network maintenance.

As more local homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight take up low carbon technologies – such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar panels – SSEN is working to provide a network that is fit for the future. We’re also conscious of the influx of tourists to the island’s towns over the summer months and ensuring we have a supply that can accommodate these additional demands.

Alex King, Automation planner, SSEN

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