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Automation Case Study Abu Dhabi Distribution Company, UAE


ADDC Forges Ahead with Distribution Automation Programme

Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) has serious ambitions for the widespread implementation of Distribution Automation across its operating area to enhance the service to its customers. The Distribution Automation (DA) strategy is to apply automation capability across the 11kV underground network in the urban conurbations and typically in the 11kV/ LV substations. Lucy Switchgear has been a key supplier of MV ring main equipment over many years to ADDC and a considerable proportion of the network is populated with our ring main units. ADDC approached a number of RTU manufacturers for suitable solutions with the proviso that a turnkey package should be offered in terms of retrofitting automation capability to the existing 11kV network. Wi-Mesh, a wireless internet infrastructure, is being installed extensively throughout Abu Dhabi city and the emirate has been chosen by ADDC as their preferred method of communication. The existing Distribution Management Systems (DMS) inherent scalability is being utilised to SCADA connect the 11kV/ LV automated substations into this system once commissioned.

The Lucy Switchgear Solution

There are typically two main configurations for the type of ring main units normally purchased by ADDC, namely the TRM and QRM being a 2+1 (ring switches and circuit breaker) and 2+2 respectively. These configurations are satisfied with the SABRE VRN2a (non-extensible RMU) and the SABRE VRE2a+VCE2a (extensible ring main unit and circuit breaker). To reduce the necessity for two types of RTU, a single Remote T erminal Unit (RTU) format was designed to cater for the QRM and, by definition, the TRM. ADDC has therefore benefited from reduced stocking issues.

The automated ring main units were equipped to include:

Motorised actuation for the incoming ring switches (Open and Close operations) Shunt tripping for the transformer CB Protection relay alarms Transformer loading Earth fault detection Low gas pressure monitoring

A division of W Lucy & Co Ltd

The Automation division within Lucy Switchgear liaised with ADDC to ensure that interoperability was achieved with their existing DMS/ SCADA in terms of database and communication configuration and protocol. The IEC 60870-5-104 protocol was configured to a report by exception mode to reduce communication overhead with a health ping to each RTU every ten minutes. In order to protect ADDCs original investment in Lucy Switchgear ring main units, Lucy Switchgear offered a service whereby existing Lucy ring main units can be recovered from the network and refurbished at our manufacturing facilities in Dubai and equipped

with suitable automation facilities. The refurnished units can subsequently be returned to the 11kV network as fully automated ring main units with the necessary Gemini-RTU 2, communication device and cabling. On-site installation times were minimised by plug-in connections between components and pre-RTU configuration.

ADDCs contractors received full training on all aspects of installation and commissioning of the automated ring main units and feedback on the ease of installation has been very positive. Installation works have continued at a pace and it is expected that over 150 substations will have been upgraded to automation by the end of 2010 - a considerable achievement given the original timescales.

What does the future hold?

ADDC is looking to progress this work into its sister company, Al Ain Distribution Company, and a similar project approach is being adopted for this phase of the DA roll-out. For the time being, ADDC will use another IP based communication system in GPRS with a potential to revert to Wi-Mesh once the network has been established. Fibre optic links are also deemed to be another potential communication media. It is clear that this substantial investment in DA will bring enormous benefits to ADDCs customers in terms of supply security and availability and provide ADDC with real time data that can be archived for future network planning purposes. Having visibility and control of the 11kV network will also increase network operational flexibility, deferment of reinforcement investment, reduced manpower and transportation costs. The future for ADDCs customers is certainly looking brighter.

Lucy Switchgear Howland Road, Thame, Oxfordshire, OX9 3UJ, UK tel: +44 (0)1844 267267 fax: +44 (0)1844 267223 email:

Lucy Middle East PO Box 17335, Jebel Ali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates tel: +9714 812 9999 fax: +9714 812 9900 email:

The Saudi Lucy Company Ltd PO Box 834, Al-Khobar, 31952, Saudi Arabia tel: +966 3 8823057 fax:+ 966 3 8822553 email:

Lucy South Africa Suite 22, Fourways Business Centre, Design Quarter, Nicole Grove Office Park, Leslie Road, Fourways 2005, South Africa tel: +27 (0)11 5133415 tel: +27 (0)11 5133000 fax: +27 (0)86 6783418 email:

Lucy Asia Pacific Sdn Bhd Suite 32-01-92, 32nd Floor, Wisma Keck Seng, 203 Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia tel: +603 2116 5640 fax: +603 2116 5647 email:

A division of W Lucy & Co Ltd