This topic is focussed on strategies for, and planning of power system maintenance, including aspects such as Reliability Centered Maintenance and component life-time modeling and diagnostics, as well as support tools such as information systems.
Properly applied, information systems will make the power system more efficient. In operation and control the efficiencies come from reducing costs in terms of internal delays and in efficiencies. In the power system as a whole, Information Systems facilitate more sophisticated control and measurement which in turn works to reduce losses and unnecessary end-use of electricity in the power system. Operation and maintenance of T & D grids was historically supported by a number of isolated software systems performing diverse tasks, from SCADA systems providing real-time control to Billing systems and other administrative functions.
These systems have in recent years been extended, and more importantly, integrated into a utility-wide software system. Due to its history, this system is composed of a considerable number of heterogeneous and poorly understood components interacting by means of equally diverse connectors. Additionally, the integration has still to reach some of the technical support systems, such as SCADA and EMS. The industry-wide introduction of automatic meter reading, AMR and the utilization of mobile technologies in the field are also examples of how new technologies add opportunities and threats that need to be evaluated from an integration perspective.
The competence profile of the IT Applications in Power System Operation & Control research program is focused on building knowledge on quantitative and qualitative aspects of using information systems for cost-efficient operation and maintenance of transmission and distribution systems. The competence built during the previous ten years of operation includes: management of information system procurement and integration, methods for analysis of non-functional aspects of information systems such as information security, knowledge on the impact of new regulatory frameworks on power distribution, architecture and process analysis using IEC standards 61968/61970.
The overall goal of the competence program is to strengthen the competence already developed, and venture to find new areas of application. Specifically for the IT Applications in Power System Operation & Control program this includes (i) strengthening of the knowledge on evaluation of non-functional aspects of IT-systems for power system control and operation. Including the use of standards such as IEC 61968/61970 (ii) expanding the exiting evaluation method to cover systems for communication and measurement, such as substation control systems and automated metering systems.