The Northpower Control Room is manned 24 hours a day each day of the year. It forms the focus of everything that happens on the network through its ability to monitor happenings and record events.
Information can be gathered and disseminated as required for a variety of network functions. Power supplies can be switched, rerouted or varied according to predetermined or real time needs. The Northpower system control room handles operational control of the power system.
- To achieve a supply of electricity to each consumer connected to its network that complies with the legal requirements in a safe and efficient manner continuously at all times.
- Give consumers advice about their supply of electricity when asked and provide for work to be done when requested.
- To arrange for maintenance work, shutdowns and issue authorisations for work to be done on the network in a safe and responsible manner.
- Where faults occur on the network affecting supplies to consumers to restore these supplies as soon as possible having due regard for safety to the public, staff and network equipment.
Control of certain loads can be accessed from the Control Room. This can be done directly by the operator or automatically or a combination of both.
All circuit breakers on the Northpower 50kV and 11kV systems can be operated (open/close) from the Control Room. All operating changes are audited as a check to their correct operating method or setting.
A computer operated telephone answering service is utilised to inform the public about fault outages or other related matters as and when required. It has the capacity to answer 255 incoming calls simultaneously with the added facility to connect the caller to the operator if the caller requires. Through the faults phone system, consumers are able to quickly access information about widespread faults while still retaining the option to talk with a member of our faults team, should they have additional information about faults in their area or if they are experiencing a localised fault on their line.
The Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system supplies the operator with realtime information on loadings and other details from the substations on the network. Historical data is also available and provides for daily and weekly maximum demands on each 50kV and 11kV feeder.
Details of these feeder maximum demands are assessed and provide the basis of normal feeder loadings. This information is used as a future-planning tool for system reinforcement to cater for load growth.
System data for the calculation of system reinforcement is constantly updated to allow for growth both in the network size and the number of consumers.
Local weather real time, wind speed, direction and air temperature is available and displayed to the operator. This information is required at times of inclement weather as an aid to system loading together with local metrological weather predictions.