Auxiliary-Service Smart Monitoring Solutions: A Study in High-Power Substations in Colombia


The present study assesses the possibility of implementing an auxiliary-service smart monitoring solution at power substations. The solution is intended to improve substation indices in terms of accident rates and undesired events that result from initial incidents associated to failure of the Direct Current systems in charge of supporting the operation of protection elements. In recent years in Colombia, substation fires have been reported, and auxiliary services have been identified as a potential initial cause of these unfortunate events. In fact, in Bogotá (Capital city of Colombia), in the last decade, incidents occurred at four high-power substations, and the potential failure cause was associated to the operation of auxiliary services, according to the criteria of experts in the electrical sector. The present study illustrates how a monitoring system substantially improves the lifecycle of battery banks in a three-year period (8% lifecycle improvement together with an increase in reliability of the system by allowing more time for failure identification). The estimated financial benefits reach 2 million US dollars and stem from reducing the frequency of explosions at substations by 11%. The technology in question is assessed and recommended based on the results of various experiments, where various monitoring methods are tested, also considering the operation and maintenance costs that constitute an appropriate lifecycle evaluation.

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Eslava, H. , Rojas, L. and Restrepo, M. (2014) Auxiliary-Service Smart Monitoring Solutions: A Study in High-Power Substations in Colombia. Journal of Power and Energy Engineering, 2, 132-138. doi: 10.4236/jpee.2014.29019.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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