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What is distribution system loop automation?

Recloser Solutions' Loop Automation is a Distribution System Automation Scheme designed to restore supply to customers in the shortest possible time.

Using standard recloser features, the Loop Automation Scheme reconfigures protection settings, sectionalises faults, minimises affected areas, and restores network supply without the need for communications or operator intervention.

Loop Automation automatically reconfigures a feeder network affected by an outage when an alternative source of supply is available. The alternative source is typically a second feeder connected via a normally open point. The normally open recloser that ties the feeders together is known as the Tie recloser. Other reclosers are labelled Feeder recloser for the one closest to the substation, and Mid-Point reclosers are those between the Feeder and Tie reclosers.

Each of the reclosers in a loop automation scheme is programmed to behave in accordance with a set of logic rules specific to its location on the network.

Communication is not required for a loop automation network and power is restored to the healthy parts of the network by using: n Voltage sensing at each bushing (determine the loss of supply); n Logical rules (specific to each recloser position) to determine the recloser's action; and n User configurable timer (a delay to systematically reconfigure each recloser when required).

The diagram below shows the basic configuration of a loop automation network.

Loop automation network

The basic network reconfiguration action taken by each recloser in the network can be summarised as follows:

  • Feeder recloser - Opens when supply is lost on the source (substation) side of the recloser.
  • FMid-point recloser - When supply is lost the controller changes the direction of protection anticipating power flow in the opposite direction.
  • FTie recloser - Closes when supply is lost on the one side of the recloser.

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