Stability of supplies
Recent years have demonstrated intensive development and modernisation of existing infrastructure, including the construction of modern dispatch centres and improvement in team work. All these measures aim to improve network reliability, enhance electricity qualitative parameters and reducie interruptions of supply.
The distribution of electricity over long distances always entails transmission losses. It is impossible to eliminate them; however, as a result of investment, modernisation and maintenance TAURON Dystrybucja is improving the efficiency of distribution year by year. In 2015 the quantum of lost energy (the sum of technical and non-technical losses) fell below 5% for the first time.
G4-EU12 Transmission and distribution losses as a percentage of total energy transmitted / distributed
|Year||Transmission and distribution losses|
|Transmission and distribution losses as a percentage of total energy transmitted / distributed|
|Distribution losses by cause of loss
|Technical losses||2 276 060||2 169 444||2 143 843|
|Non-technical losses||723 029||594 679||447 327|
|TOTAL LOSSES||2 999 089||2 764 123||2 591 170|
|Transmission and distribution losses as a percentage of total electricity generated [%]||5,69||5,31||4,91|
It is worth mentioning that non-technical losses arising from errors in metering systems or incorrect registration of sold energy also include illegal energy uptake from the grid (electricity theft). In cooperation with the Police TAURON Dystrybucja is running a social campaign called “Stop electricity fraud” to combat this illegal practice.
The campaign specifically targeting the Police, Municipal Guards, real estate administrators and clients of TAURON Dystrybucja aims to ensure customer safety and continuity of electricity supplies by combating electricity fraud. The Centre of Energy Inspection is also involved in this campaign.
In 2015 four conferences were held on fighting electricity fraud in Jelenia Góra, Wałbrzych, Legnica and Wrocław. A seminar was also held at Jagiellonian University on a formal and legal analysis of this illicit practice. As a consequence, 400 persons were trained on how to detect and combat this illicit practice.
TAURON Dystrybucja also cares about energy conservation as reflected by offering innovative solutions and tools to improve energy efficiency such as the Smart City Wrocław project under which TAURON’s distribution company is installing intelligent metering for customers in Wrocław. These meters enable customers to monitor electricity consumption effectively and on an on-going basis (through a free mobile and PC application). In this way, they receive a tool for checking electricity consumption on a daily, monthly and annual basis. For TAURON Dystrybucja this is another step in the improvement of electricity distribution, i.e., tracking and fixing outages faster while limiting the blackout rate for our customers.
Ultimately, by 2017, 330 thousand clients will have smart meters. This is the biggest project of its type in Poland.
However, blackouts depend on many factors as is well illustrated by the System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and the System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI). Despite a significant reduction in the length of planned interruptions in electricity supply by over 34 minutes compared to 2014, the average interruption duration in 2015 rose above 300 minutes.
|SAIDI (minutes/ consumer/ year)||2015|
|Unplanned, excluding disasters||207.35|
|Unplanned, including disasters||238.67|
Versus 2014 the average interruption frequency also rose from 3.36 to 3.56 interruptions per consumer per year.
number of interruptions/ consumer/ year)
|Unplanned, excluding disasters||3.08|
|Unplanned, including disasters||3.1|
Both indices were affected by severe storms that crossed Poland in early July last year leading to mass damage in the power grid. The maintenance division handled more than 3 thousand interventions in just two days (7-8 July). 90 high and medium voltage lines were damaged. This disaster caused 700 low voltage grid lines to break and destroyed 500 power poles. One thousand thunder claps a minute were recorded. 450 thousand clients at Tauron Dystrybucja were deprived of electricity in a matter of minutes.
Intervention groups started to act promptly dealing first with torn lines and broken poles for safety reasons. Over 1,700 people in 500 teams worked continuously for several days to repair damages and restore the energy supply. Tree logging companies were engaged to provide assistance. Electric power generators were connected to transformer stations as they needed rapid supply.
As a consequence, we restored electricity to 370 thousand consumers within 12 hours after the outage, and another 50 thousand after another 24 hours, i.e. 90% of those deprived of electricity during the outage.
The southern part of the Silesian Province covering the following districts of Bielsko-Biała, Pszczyna, Bieruń-Lędziny, Mikołów, Rybnik, Racibórz, Wodzisław and in Tychy and Jastrzębie Zdrój suffered the most severe damages requiring the most time to fix.
Shortly thereafter, weather caused massive damage to the power infrastructure once again. Wind at speeds of 100 km/h, hail, local gusts and tornadoes interrupted electricity supplies to over 100 thousand of our customers in Lower Silesia, Małopolska and Wrocław where a tornado damaged 42 medium voltage poles. Technicians received 2,300 damage reports to the low voltage grid. By activating our manpower and resources we fixed all the failures in three days.
Whenever mass grid damages occur the company follows the procedures in the instructions on how to handle natural disasters and monitors the situation while cooperating with provincial and district Crisis Management Centres. The efforts taken by TAURON Dystrybucja technicians to combat this disaster were appreciated by customers who gave high satisfaction scores on fixing failures and outages (80). The average score is 76.
Remotely controlled switches installed in the grid shorten equipment tracing time. Using re-closers as switches mounted in the main bus of the medium voltage line and remotely controlled disconnectors enables dispatchers to “cut off” the damaged grid fragment without having to send power emergency service workers into the field, thereby significantly reducing the time to trace an outage. Grid automation supports more efficient and faster preparation of the grid performance system to do scheduled work.
The use of equipment in overhead grids, i.e. re-closers and disconnectors mostly entails the replacement of medium voltage grid poles where this equipment is installed. Assembly of equipment in interior stations mainly involves encasing new equipment to replace existing connectors and tele-mechanical equipment. In 2015, under the investment plan in the Lubań Distribution Region remotely controlled equipment was installed, thereby significantly reducing electricity supply interruptions.
Tetra is a technology based on the open standard created by the European Institute of ICT Standards for digital radio and telephone communications designed for public security and rescue services. It is unique because it provides a communications system to coordinate immediate response teams in a safe and uninterrupted manner.
This technology also supports connection security and grid availability. TAURON Dystrybucja has thirteen TETRA base stations. Five new ICT towers and seven technical containers will be built while eight towers and six ICT communication rooms will be retrofitted.
To respond efficiently to power outages the key is to receive a customer notification. Outages may be reported via the website or the Power Emergency Service (991 or 323 030 991). If the company is responsible for fixing the outage (barring some defect in a customer’s household installation), remedial measures will be taken promptly.
The timing and location of planned outages may be checked at any time on the TAURON Dystrybucja website (grid investments or modernisation of infrastructure). TAURON customers may also subscribe to a special newsletter on regional outages.
Naturally, outages are unpredictable; nevertheless, TAURON Dystrybucja does it utmost to mitigate their risk and reduce response time to locate and fix an outage. The Grid Asset Management System (GAMS) makes this possible as it raises grid automation by using various types of remotely controlled circuit breakers to disconnect damaged grid fragments without having to send technicians into the field and to find the location of the outage.
This new application notifies TAURON business clients by SMS or e-mail of planned outages and any emergency electricity supply disruptions. This application was rolled out in early 2015 in the head office and in all 11 branches of TAURON Dystrybucja as part of the advanced Contactis system. By linking power grid topology with TAURON’s client base, the system idenitifes clients who are cut off from the power supply by an outage or will be cut off as a result of a planned interruption.
In these circumstances TAURON clients may rely on information sent by SMS and/or e-mail (depending on the preferred contact method) indicating the power supply to be cut off and when it will be restored. INFORMER also has a reporting module to follow what outage information is sent when and by whom and to measure effectiveness.
TAURON Ciepło should be mentioned when discussing the continuity of supply. Its heating network, compared to TAURON Dystrybucja, is “only” 1100 km long, but it provides heat and hot water 24/7 to inhabitants of the Silesia-Dąbrowa Górnicza region. Heat consumers include housing estates, industrial and sports facilities, hospitals, commercial centres, public utility institutions and many others. Company employees in the Heat Emergency Centre in Katowice intervene if there are any disturbances or outages.
The Heat Emergency Centre operates 24/7. Its phone number, namely 993, is staffed 24/7. Heat Emergency Centre Dispatchers also supervise online website information updates: www.tauron-cieplo.pl concerning potential outages in the TAURON Ciepło heating network.