html{display:none} Distribution Automation | Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

Distribution Automation

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SEL distribution automation systems combine fast protection with flexible automation and communications to improve reliability, increase system efficiency, and reduce operating costs.

With these solutions, you can:

  • Prevent service interruptions and provide high-quality electric power, even under adverse conditions and peak loads.
  • Improve your reliability metrics. Outages are fewer, shorter, and smaller, with minimal effect on customers.
  • Increase safety—and save time and money—by monitoring the status of your mission-critical assets. Timely maintenance is less expensive than repair.

We’re Dedicated to Your Success

The scalable, modular nature of SEL distribution automation systems, built on the foundation of our protective relays, allows you to implement a broad set of functionalities or a subset that addresses your specific needs. We’ll create an automation solution that simplifies the protection and control of your system—and you can add new capabilities as your needs change over time.

Reliability Is Built In

By designing for reliability first, we reduce operations costs, improve system performance, and deliver an unbeatable lifetime return on investment for our customers.

Your operators and engineers are invited to be part of our factory acceptance test and put the system through its paces in our Real Time Digital Simulator (RTDS) lab, with your control system hardware in the loop. This way, you know that your SEL solution will do precisely what you need it to—the first time, and every time.

Automation Tailored to Your Needs

We deliver the benefits of automation in three ways, depending on your needs. And because SEL distribution automation systems are modular and scalable, we can customize any part of the solution—or all of it—to meet your needs.

Distributed Control With Autonomous Operation

SEL relays and controllers provide built-in automation logic that can be used without communications to automate protection, network reconfiguration, and volt/VAR control. Protection devices apply time coordination for protection and time delays for automation, using local sensing and control.

This system will:

  • Improve reliability with Automatic Network Reconfiguration.
  • Reduce system losses and improve power quality with volt/VAR control.
  • Speed up fault location using faulted circuit indicators (FCIs) with visible indication to direct line crews to faults.

Distributed Control Using Communications

The addition of communications improves not only the coordination of protection between devices, but also the automation of switching to reconfigure the system.

Automation logic in each line device allows it to make intelligent decisions based on fault detection and the presence of voltage on one or both sides of the recloser.

In addition, this system will:

  • Allow viewing and changing of settings remotely and securely.
  • Automatically collect data from devices, including metering, monitoring, and diagnostics data.
  • Provide the fastest device coordination and reduce outage times by using secure peer-to-peer communications.

Centralized Control

Centralized control that uses one or more distribution automation controllers for feeder automation is useful when coordinating a large or very diverse distribution system. The addition of intelligent line devices, such as our wireless fault condition indicators, provides quick and accurate fault location.

This system will:

  • Provide fast protection and the highest degree of automation, including miscoordination detection and control.
  • Optimize volt/VAR control for conservation voltage reduction, transmission VAR support, and voltage reduction schemes, even after reconfiguration.
  • Reduce cycling of devices with coordinated control.
  • Provide information to a SCADA system or distribution management system (DMS) so operators know the status of the distribution system.

Products You Can Rely On

SEL manufactures the electric power industry’s most durable and reliable devices.

Our products are designed to withstand the world’s most challenging environments, exceeding all industry standards for temperature, shock, and electric stress. An optional conformal coating adds an extra level of protection against contaminants in extreme environments.

Every SEL product comes with a ten-year unconditional warranty—the best in the industry. If any product fails under warranty, we’ll repair or replace it for free.

Questions? Contact Us!

An SEL representative will follow up with you directly. We’re happy to answer all your questions and help you find the best solution for your needs.

Contact Engineering Services


Unbeatable Support

When you choose SEL, you get more than products and services—you get a partnership. Our customer support teams are experts in power system products and applications, and they’re available for the entire life of your SEL solution.

Engineering Services project engineers are ready to assist you in various project stages from planning through final commissioning of the system. Afterward, you have access to technical support from SEL application engineers, at no charge, as long as SEL products remain in service.