How Network Waitaki Ltd Provide Safe Substations
4 October 2016, Waitaki, New Zealand – Network Waitaki Ltd in conjunction with OHUG Power Equipment have capitalised on the latest in substation safe work design offerings from NOJA Power by successfully deploying the NOJA Power Remote HMI Panel system. The Remote HMI Panel system allows users to relocate the HMI panel from their NOJA Power OSM Recloser system via fibre optic connection to a new location within their Substation. This allows for safe remote interrogation and control of the Automatic Circuit Recloser system, adding a new degree of separation and safety to utility lines operators working in substations. When considered in conjunction with NOJA Power's latest product of a 38kV 16kA rated Solid Dielectric Insulated recloser, the OSM Series of Reclosers has become the prime candidate for rural substation installations where maximum fault currents remain below 16kA. With such a successful and well received preliminary deployment, a second installation site is currently underway.
The Remote HMI Panel is a self-contained module which consists of a NOJA Power RC10 HMI Panel installed in a standard 19-inch rack configuration. This module includes a power supply for the panel and internal fibre optic modem and provides an interface for the fibre optic connection. It is available in both Single and Dual panel configuration options. In order to utilise a Remote HMI Panel with a standard NOJA Power Recloser system, all that is required is the Remote HMI panel and a fibre optic modem to be installed in the RC10 controller. Such a simple implementation is invaluable when considering the safety benefits afforded to utility operators.
Operator safety has always been a founding principle of responsible utilities. The Remote HMI Panel provides utilities with a new method of insulating their operators from the hazards of substations by keeping them well out of harms’ way. The fibre optic connection method between the HMI and Recloser Controller allows for a guarantee of isolation, further enhancing the safety benefits of this implementation. Furthermore, the OSM Recloser system is type tested for Arc Fault venting, but this does not alleviate the other risks and hazards present in a substation environment. By adding a degree of separation between the utility operator and the high voltage supply, NOJA Power are enabling utilities to improve their network and operator safety.
The Remote HMI Panel is generally seen as an augmentation to conventional SCADA control schemes rather than a replacement. There are occasions where remote SCADA communications may be compromised necessitating local control, and it is this opportunity when the remote HMI panel shines. By moving the panel from the pole mounted device into an IP rated substation control room the utility can effectively eliminate the risks associated with operators working in adverse conditions.
This deployment of the Remote HMI Panel coincides with NOJA Power’s release of their 16kA 38kV OSM Recloser product. Traditional substation circuit breaker equipment often commands a premium price for their high interruption capabilities, but oftentimes rural substation fault currents are below 16kA. In these situations, the additional interruption capability is wasted as the substations are over-engineered and over-specified for the job at hand. Whilst in the best case, substations build specifications are driven up, in the worst case, utilities may be encouraged to delay refurbishment or augmentation works based on exorbitant costs for the application. The NOJA Power OSM38 with 16kA rating is finding favour in deployment in rural substation applications in lieu of substation breakers, and the NOJA Power Remote HMI Panel offering further improves the applicability of this equipment to the substation environment.
“As the NOJA Reclosers were to be located close to the existing Duntroon Substation, we wished to utilise the existing services provide by the Substation, which included:
- 110V DC system
- 230V AC local service
- SCADA control system
- The safety of remote control while being on site
- A weather proof environment for operation and interrogation of the NOJA equipment
After considering the above we knew there must be a better engineering solution to this challenge”, reports James Robertson, Senior Networks Engineer at Network Waitaki. “Our integration of the NOJA system into the substation services, including the substation 110V DC system ensures we have exceptional reliability of our controllers during outages plus full access to information and control in all weather conditions.”
“The development for the remote HMI was an easy decision when considering the increased safety and flexibility it offers our customers,” says NOJA Power Group Managing Director Neil O’Sullivan. “Substations that incorporate a control room make sense to relocate the control panels from the control cubicles in each device into 19” rack mounted chassis for operation from the control room. We expect more substation installations in control rooms will adopt the remote panel concept.”
Networks Waitaki have demonstrated a strong commitment to the safety of their operators through the trial and deployment of the NOJA Power Remote HMI Panel. This installation provides utility operators with unrivalled safety and peace of mind in a high risk substation environment. By continually looking to embrace and develop new solutions for improving safety, NOJA Power are providing innovative solutions to real world recloser applications. When paired with the OSM38 16kA Recloser, NOJA Power have a simple cost effective solution for rural and major substations with a fault current below 16kA.