New Range of Auto-reclosers Unveiled
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ALSTOM has unveiled a new generation of high-performance vacuum equipment. The company says its new VPR pole-mounted auto-recloser for overhead lines offers regional electricity suppliers a cost-effective solution to help them improve the quality and consistency of supply and cut down on the length of service interruptions-particularly in rural areas, which are more prone to power failures.
This latest model features a hand-operated in-line off-load disconnector inside the permanently sealed recloser tank. The design provides the full isolating gap needed for maintenance and guarantees full interlocking between the circuit breaker and the disconnector. According to the company, the design ensures that in all operating conditions the vacuum interrupters always open before, and close after, the disconnector.
ALSTOM reports that the design concept provides a more reliable solution for down-line isolation, reduced system installation and maintenance costs, and the opportunity to incorporate more flexibility into the design of distribution networks.
Advance Energy Implements Asset Management, Mapping System
Advance Energy, an electricity distributor in New South Wales, recently rolled out a new company-wide network asset management and mapping system (NAMMS) based on GE Smallworld’s Core Spatial Technology and Web browser software.
Chas McPhail, Advance Energy’s asset information manager, expects the system to enhance all areas of the utility’s business. “Being able to graphically link and model assets through their locations and attributes to customers, and make that information available company-wide through GE Smallworld’s Internet solution, has greatly improved the way in which we make decisions and respond to customer needs,” McPhail said.
“GE’s technology is very open and can be integrated with our asset database and load analysis software,” McPhail said. “When combined with our asset database, GE Smallworld software gives the whole organization access to the same set of data.”
NAMMS will operate across five main offices and 26 field service centers throughout western New South Wales. The new system replaces five legacy systems and was procured, specified, built and commissioned within 12 months. Future plans at Advance Energy include further development of GE Smallworld Core Spatial Technology into a complete customer call and fault analysis tool, and integration of the system with other IT systems at the utility.
Metso Automation Launches European Company
Metso Automation recently launched a European company with the goal of strengthening the focus on automation and real-time information management in the European, African and Middle Eastern energy industry. The new Metso company will be based in Zug, Switzerland, with a branch office in Oslo, Norway, to serve the Nordic market.
At the core of Metso Automation’s offerings from the Zug office is an Enterprise Integration Platform. Based on an open systems concept and the newly released metsoDNA infrastructure product, the Enterprise Integration Platform is intended to provide a bridge between a utility’s business management systems and its automation applications.
Dave Jardine, Metso Automation’s senior vice president, said the Zug operation will provide a unique offering to electric utility companies in Europe and surrounding areas. “Our business focus is on providing return on innovation, not just return on investment,” Jardine said. “We have the necessary experience and resources to quickly and cost-effectively tailor-not customize-solutions to meet industry needs.”
Convergent Europe Opens New Offices
Convergent Europe-part of Convergent Group, a Schlumberger company-has announced the opening of new offices in the Netherlands and France. In addition, Convergent Europe has established a full-time technical center of excellence in Newcastle, northeast England, to support ongoing business growth in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
The Netherlands office, based in Rotterdam, will serve clients in the Benelux and Nordic territories. Arie Vliegenthart, a veteran of the energy and utilities industries, will head up the Netherlands operation. The Paris, France, office will serve clients in mainland Europe and the Middle East. Leading the French office will be Julien Feghali, a utilities specialist with experience in implementing electronic metering, automatic meter reading, prepayment and load management systems.
According to David Pitt, Convergent Europe president, the establishment of new offices and in-country specialists is a reaction to the changing business environment of European utilities. The company says it is seeing a growing demand for digital business solutions within European utilities.