ABB and Caruna investigated in a joint innovation project how the ground cable network behaves in fault events

Caruna and ABB signed a four-year innovation cooperation agreement in 2019. In the first phase, the focus has been on developing novel network security technology and testing in the Noormarkku network area. The aim is to significantly increase the reliability of power supply in the network.

Digitalisation also benefits power distribution, often thought of as an established industry. Caruna continues to seek new ways of making life easier for customers and enhancing security.

The COVID-19 pandemic delayed testing, which was eventually completed at the Noormarkku primary substation in Pori in October 2020. The network supplied by the station tested smart electricity network security technology based on network high-voltage information and a centralised smart protection. The aim of the new system is to automatically interpret and react to exceptions in the network and to display the network security status in real time.

“In the long run, the aim is to create a new, more efficient way to ensure network security in the market,” says project manager Mika Suomi.

Kenttäkokeita suoritettiin lokakuussa 2020.
Field testing was carried out in October 2020.

During one week, over a hundred different field tests were performed.

The purpose of the prototype system, installed for field testing at the Noormarkku primary substation and at seven separate secondary substations, is to speed up troubleshooting and to guarantee network security in real time in a fault situation, so that power supply can continue despite a disruption. During testing, more than a hundred controlled earth faults were inflicted on the network to test the performance of the prototype system.

ABB is a technological pioneer engaged in continuing innovation and development work to enhance electricity distribution reliability. Terho Into from ABB comments that the innovation cooperation with Caruna is a valuable support to the R&D work, allowing the company to conduct extensive real-life testing of distribution reliability enhancing systems.

About a dozen experts participated in the Noormarkku metering project from Caruna, ABB, Rejlers, Despro and TLT.

Muuntamokoppi Noormarkussa
Secondary substation in Noormarkku.

Modern technology enables smart electricity networks

After testing, the equipment remains permanently installed in the network, providing long-term metering data from the region in years to come.

Increased intelligence in electricity networks has led to a need to dig deeper into phenomena in the medium voltage network. Traditionally network metering data has been obtained mostly from primary substations, but with the advances of metering and data transmission technologies, data can now be generated from an increasing number of network points. By combining decentralised metering output with smart, centralised security, it is possible to provide customers with more reliable and secure electricity distribution services.

More than a hundred earth fault tests generated an enormous amount of data that is still being analysed. The final conclusions from the prototype system's functionality will be published in early 2021.

“Preliminary results indicate that metering provided a lot of additional information on the behaviour of earth connections in an underground cable network,” Suomi reports with satisfaction.