Distribution Operations Best Practices

CRN Contact:  Brian Sloboda, Senior Program Manager
Do you have a questions about CRN Distribution Operations Best Practice research? Send your inquiry to our staff.

Active Projects:
  • Distribution Fault Anticipator Demonstration — Phase I
    Additional CRN Contact:  Maurice Martin, program manager.
    Distribution fault anticipator (DFA) technology identifies and locates specific pieces of equipment likely to cause faults in the near future. Project will address barriers to market by deploying the DFA system at 10-15 co-ops over a dozen states; analyzing data to prove the advantages of the technology; comparing DFA to existing fault analysis tools; and working with suppliers to foster adoption and integration of DFA in commercial products. Phase II — demonstration implementation, contingent on outcome of Phase I.
  • NEETRAC Conservation Voltage Reduction (CVR)
    Performance forecasting tools will be developed to perform cost benefit analysis. Goal of project is to provide methodology for identifying suitable target feeders for CVR along with the required additional resources/equipment.
  • Power Theft Detection
    A series of recommended practices will be developed for investigating and troubleshooting non-technical power losses, including in field observations and utilizing systems such as AMI and MDMS.  Topics will include locating illegal hookups; co-op success stories in using MDM and AMI systems to identify low level theft; and case studies on implementing new theft detection software.
  • Reducing System Losses
    Helping co-ops identify cost-effective ways to reduce technical system losses, including training sessions at TechAdvantage conference and a final report available to members.
  • Voltage Optimization
    Joint collaboration with EPRI to show how to monitor voltage conditions utilizing existing AMI data, to determine the most cost-effective techniques for voltage optimization and to better determine the optimal settings for existing devices. Final report to be available in 2013.
Recently Completed Projects:
  • Getting Added Value from SCADA and Remote Sensors
    Additional CRN Contact:  Maurice Martin, program manager.
    Providing a thorough review of SCADA and remote sensor technologies, and innovative ways these technologies can be used by cooperatives. Includes co-op feedback, interviews, and lessons learned; and vendor insights into future of SCADA. Report available online and shared during 2012 TechAdvantage conference.
  • Meter Data Management (MDM) Systems
    Report detailing the capabilities of MDM systems and offering advice on how to maximize investment in an MDM while minimizing the cost of purchasing and integrating the system, including business cases and lessons learned. Available online, and associated training classes provided at TechAdvantage conference and via NRECA Virtual Expo.
  • Securing Facilities Against Tampering and Theft
    Additional CRN Contact: Maurice Martin, program manager.
    Provided a resource for addressing physical security and theft prevention needs, including general guidelines for structuring a physical security program; intrusion detection, access control and closed circuit television (CCTV) assessment/surveillance;  techniques specifically addressing copper theft; and the results of a survey of the electric cooperative community looking at current cooperative security concerns and practices. Report available online.
  • Underground Operations Manual
    Report focusing on cutting edge techniques and best practices of operating and maintaining underground distribution lines; compiled by a team of more than 30 co-op engineering and operations staff.  Available online.
  • Update on CRN Staking Manual
    Update to CRN Staking Guide to reflect most recent changes in the NESC. Available online.

Engineering and IT: Two Perspectives; One Goal

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