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S&C Provides Community Energy Storage to Smooth Solar Power in California

S&C Featured Solution: Energy Storage
Location: California

Customer Challenge

California utility companies are required to meet one-third of the state’s electricity needs  with power produced by renewable generation sources by 2020. But the high penetration of renewable generation has created concerns regarding grid stability, power quality, and safety.

This California desert city is a primary example. The city is served by a utility substation located 20 miles out on a 69-kV transmission radial tap that crosses high, windy terrain. The challenging environment and unique design constraints led the utility to consider a pilot microgrid project in which photovoltaic-generated energy would power the city if an outage occurs on the utility source.

The utility was concerned about reverse power flow from the photovoltaic-generated energy during low-load periods that can create safety issues for the system and the people working on it. It was also concerned about the time required for the microgrid to form an island in response to an outage. The utility sought an energy storage expert to help determine the most effective and reliable means for storing renewable energy at the microgrid and  contacted S&C Electric Company.

S&C Solution

S&C proposed its PureWave® CES Community Energy Storage System for the pilot microgrid project. Three 25-kW PureWave CES units were proposed to time-shift the photovoltaic- generated energy, storing it during daylight hours for release in the evening when daylight isn’t available but demand is still high. The batteries of each energy storage unit would  provide two hours of run time while mitigating fluctuations in the photovoltaic generation by performing power smoothing. In total, the system would provide 150-kWh of energy storage.


S&C’s PureWave® CES units provided uninterrupted service to an islanded microgrid for the entire 25-hour outage.

If an outage occurs on the utility source, the energy storage units would provide continuity of service to utility customers, even while the microgrid is forming. The utility can also apply stored energy in response to area-wide power system issues. S&C’s IntelliTeam® DEM Distributed Energy Management System would control the energy storage units with  communication provided by S&C SpeedNet™ Radios.

The utility accepted S&C’s proposed solution.

The three PureWave CES units were installed in close proximity to the solar generators. The batteries store excess solar generation, eliminating the possibility of reverse power flow  locally and at the feeder level.

The energy storage units can be configured to meet peak capacity at the substation by  performing peak shaving. The units release excess solar generation as required to offset peak loads, thus flattening the daily load profile and reducing the need for peaking generators.

If an outage occurs on the utility source, the energy storage units automatically disconnect from the distribution system and start discharging the batteries into the island, providing  service to utility customers. When the utility source is subsequently restored, the islanded customers are automatically transferred back to the grid.

Valued Outcome

S&C partnered with the utility to ensure the project was a success by being on site to  coordinate efforts and resolve issues. This included S&C personnel being fully involved with equipment installation, configuration, and testing.

The project went live in the spring, just in time to be used to smooth increasing peak loads  and renewable generation. The energy storage units are now being used primarily for power smoothing and customer backup.


A Li-Ion battery being placed in an underground vault, beneath S&C’s PureWave® CES unit.

During a recent utility source outage, the energy storage units provided uninterrupted service to utility customers for the entire 25-hour outage duration. In an ideally balanced  case, wherein daily photovoltaic generation and consumption are equal, islanding could be extended almost without limit.

The utility found the project to be a success and is evaluating plans to include it as part of  its overall renewable energy strategy.

S&C’s TripSaver II to Reduce Momentary Outages for FPL

Deployment Brings Increased Grid Reliability and New Jobs to the State of Florida

CHICAGO, October 28, 2014 – S&C Electric Company, a smart grid leader shaping the future of power delivery, today announces an agreement with Florida Power & Light (FPL) for S&C’s TripSaver® II Cutout-Mounted Reclosers to be installed throughout the utility’s system to reduce momentary outages for its 4.7 million customers. As part of its commitment to Florida, S&C will make a $3 million investment to expand its operations in the state by creating a new manufacturing facility for the TripSaver II. This new manufacturing facility and the deployment of the TripSaver II is estimated to bring 170 new jobs to the state of Florida.

Florida experiences more thunderstorms and lightning strikes than any other state in the United States, and these storms often cause faults on the electric grid. A majority of these faults are temporary in nature, but can still cause protective equipment to operate, resulting in outages for customers. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that these temporary, or momentary, outages cost electricity users across the nation billions of dollars each year.

“FPL has made a historic first step in the utility industry by taking action to reduce momentary interruptions for its customers,” says Mike Edmonds, Vice President – U.S. Business, S&C Electric Company. “Based on government research, we estimate that the use of TripSaver II will provide as much as $500,000 annually in cost savings for electricity users on each main feeder as well as provide significant reductions in operating expenses that will benefit FPL and its customers.”

The TripSaver II is an electronically controlled single-phase recloser that can self-clear transient faults on lateral lines, avoiding the need to “blink” or disturb the main feeder and other lateral lines. When fault current is detected, the TripSaver II opens, waits and then closes again to test if the fault current is still present. If the fault is temporary, the TripSaver II restores power in seconds, preventing an extended outage for customers without creating any momentary disruptions to electricity users on other lines. If the fault is permanent, such as a tree falling on the power lines, then the TripSaver II coordinates with other protective devices to isolate the fault, limiting the number of customers affected by an outage.

“Starting in 2015, we will install S&C’s devices across FPL’s thousands of neighborhood power lines to reduce the duration and frequency of outages lasting less than one minute,” says Eric Silagy, President and Chief Executive Officer, FPL. “This tool will provide us with more details about outages, enable grid self-healing measures and speed restoration. Every time we use technology instead of sending a truck to investigate an outage, it saves us time and money while also improving our 99.98 percent reliability rate even more. Our customers, particularly our business customers, benefit by being more productive and competitive.”

The new manufacturing facility, to be located in Palm Beach County, will be in addition to S&C’s existing engineering operation offices in Orlando. The first TripSaver IIs will be deployed on FPL’s system in January 2015, with additional units being deployed steadily over the next five years.

This entry was posted in Corporate News, Distribution Automation, Electric Utilities, Grid Optimization, Overhead Distribution, Self-Healing Grids, Smart Cities, Smart Grid and tagged TripSaver II Cutout-Mounted Recloser.

New Federal Signal signaling line takes a modular approach to multi-functionality with expanded control, voltage and mounting options


news-postUniversity Park, Ill, September 29, 2014 – Federal Signal Corporation introduces the StreamLine® Modular Series, a line of audible/visual devices that spotlights a mix-and-match capability allowing users to create their own customized signaling solutions. Specifically engineered to support multi-function signaling applications, the StreamLine Modular Series accommodates multiple channels and voltages, as well as a full scope of mounting options.

Advanced multiple-input technology enables each signaling function to be controlled via an independent input, allowing users various options of audible and visual alarms through a  single device. Four different base options – shallow, deep, wall and twin – provide a perfect fit for any 12-24VAC/DC or 120-240VAC application. Easy to install snap-on signals to bases can be mixed and matched to accommodate a multitude of applications. Five sizes of stainless steel protective dome guards are optionally available.

For more information or to watch the product line video, visit:

About Federal Signal Federal Signal Corporation (NYSE: FSS) provides products and services to protect people and our planet. Founded in 1901, Federal Signal is a leading global designer and manufacturer of products and total solutions that serve municipal, governmental, industrial and commercial customers. Headquartered in Oak Brook, Ill., with manufacturing facilities worldwide, the Company operates three groups: Safety and Security Systems, Environmental Solutions and Fire Rescue. For more information on Federal Signal, visit:

Media Contact: Gabriella Churchill

S&C Introduces New Underground Switchgear and 250-kW Storage Management System to Help Utilities Increase Power System Resilience, Adapt to Changing Industry

CHICAGO, April 15, 2014 – Today at the IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition, S&C Electric Company, a smart grid leader shaping the future of power delivery, announces two new products designed to improve power system reliability: Vista® SD Underground Distribution Switchgear and the PureWave® SMS-250 Storage Management System.

“The industry landscape is changing rapidly with new technology and new expectations from utility customers and regulators,” says Tim Qualheim, vice president—Strategic Solutions,  S&C. “Our new portfolio additions will help utilities improve the reliability and efficiency of power systems, even in the face of challenges including extreme weather and greater use of distributed renewable generation.”

Next-Generation Switchgear

Vista® SD Underground Distribution Switchgear is S&C’s new platform of medium-voltage switchgear for modern power systems. Vista SD is designed to withstand difficult conditions, ensuring the product performs as expected in harsh conditions resulting from weather or other environmental factors. This is an especially important feature for applications in subsurface vaults or where flooding is a concern.

“Communities worldwide are actively working to reduce the impact of storms and natural  disasters by hardening critical infrastructure like the electric power system,” says Phil Fahey,  vice president—Switching and Protection Products, S&C. “Vista SD Switchgear gives utilities a new option to increase power system resilience. It helps protect against one of the biggest reliability challenges to underground power systems: flooding.”

Vista SD is available at ratings of 17.5 kV and 29 kV max, in both pad-mounted and vaultmounted styles, with options for power operation. It features elbow-connected components encapsulated in environmentally friendly solid-dielectric insulation, which provides a new switchgear alternative for utilities and large power users that want to reduce their use of SF6-gas-insulated equipment.

Expanded Energy Storage Systems

S&C announces the new PureWave® SMS-250 Storage Management System, the latest in S&C’s industry-leading portfolio of solutions to integrate energy storage to power systems. By providing a new building block with which to integrate energy storage to the grid, this new 250-kW storage management system offers more flexibility in how energy storage is implemented while also maximizing economic requirements.

“Energy storage is essential for modern power systems. It helps utilities address major challenges including the need to increase power system resilience, meet peak demand more efficiently, and successfully integrate renewable energy resources,” says Don Rickey, vice president—Power Quality Products, S&C. “Our new PureWave SMS-250 expands our existing storage offerings, giving utilities more choices to maximize power grid reliability, efficiency,
and stability.”

Today, S&C energy storage solutions are serving in a broad range of applications around the world. They are providing peak shaving capability, helping integrate intermittent renewable energy sources and providing a back-up power source in microgrid applications. To date, S&C has connected over 150 megawatt-hours of energy storage to the grid.

For more information, please visit S&C onsite at the IEEE PES T&D Conference and Exposition 2014 (booth #3223) or online at

This entry was posted in Energy Storage, Power Quality, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid, Underground Distribution.