Intelligent Distribution Management System
Source: Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
Date: 10/1/95    Record No.: 10209
Contact: Doug Freund, 208-526-8062; Todd Renak, 208-526-8706; Tom Sauerbrun 208-526-8151

Intelligent Distribution Management System
The Intelligent Distribution Management System (IDMS) is a graphical control and management system used to automate power delivery at electrical substations, distribution equipment, and distributed generation sources from one or more centralized locations. This is a major advancement in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), offering many more capabilities and functions than existing systems. The IDMS is designed specifically to provide useful and real-time information to dispatch operators, managers, billing departments, and any operational support personnel who are responsible for operational improvements.

The IDMS combines essential SCADA features, new information technologies, and intelligent controls and diagnostics to provide these functions:
* Cheap, reliable integrated system upgrade for substation monitoring and control, capable of unmanned remote operation, and able to use equipment currently in place,
* Supervisory control of remote distribution and generation equipment,
* Rapid detection, location, and isolation of faulted equipment without field personnel,
* Simplification and prioritization of system alarm data during upset conditions,
* Automated set point change control of protective relays and tap changer where required for diverse load and stability profiles,
* Establish distribution equipment performance signatures and anticipated failure trending,
* Schedule preventative maintenance based upon degraded performance signatures,
* Load trending and forecasting,
* Automated metering and billing,
* Transparent interfaces with existing corporate information systems,
* PC-based system suitable for long term (>10 year) manufacturer/maintenance support,
* Easy interfaces with a wide variety of equipment from different manufacturers.

The IDMS provides all of the functionality associated with conventional SCADA systems plus real-time access to maintenance management information. The base IDMS is comprised of:
* Graphical user interface software,
* A suite of embedded control software applications,
* A suite of expert system and neural network diagnostic applications integrated to operate on PC-based operator interface stations, and with commercially available field control equipment (i.e., programmable logic controllers, remote terminal units, or embedded controllers with attached field equipment).

The Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL), with its own distribution system and SCADA, is very knowledgeable about power control technologies, and has developed new technology for DOE and the U.S. Air Force to overcome existing product deficiencies. Hence, the INEL developed the IDMS to replace its own aging SCADA system. The system controls and monitors the 138kV (60 MVA total, 40 MVA peak) transmission and distribution system at the INEL via seven substations, spread over 895 square miles of high desert (4900 ft) and severe and variable weather conditions.

The INEL has targeted the Intelligent Distribution Management System as a candidate for commercialization by industry. The INEL development team is also interested in forming a private spin-off company to provide computer system integration services in support of the IDMS. Discussions are under way with several major electrical equipment suppliers who are interested in this technology as a new product offering for the electrical utility industry. (DU, Distributed Utilities)