Quantifying the benefit of network visibility on overhead MV lines

June 17th, 2014, Published in Articles: Energize


This paper uses the simplified network reliability framework developed by Eskom to examine the high-level economic benefits of network visibility options. The relative economic benefit of different network visibility options and the order of their deployment is analysed.

Eskom supplies over 4,7-million customers on more than 8000 MV feeders (i.e. 6 – 33 kV) [1]. Most of these feeders were designed on a least-capital-cost basis with limited redundancy and back-feed capability. Focused initiatives are underway to improve the performance of these feeders in order to improve Eskom’s overall network reliability and technical performance.


In the Eskom context the term “network visibility” refers to the ability of the control centre to be in control of the power network in real-time. This is achieved through the fitment of telecontrol technologies to the power system to provide real-time measurement and command capabilities. This capability is also known as supervisory command and data acquisition (SCADA). Network visibility in the Eskom context forms part of a bigger group of interventions known as distribution automation.

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