BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Well-established power distribution systems exist through- 15 out most of the United States, and other countries, which provide power to customers via power lines. A power line communications system (PLCSs) may use the infrastructure of the existing power distribution systems to provide broadband data communications in addition to power delivery. 20
In addition to communicating user data, such PLCSs may be used to monitor the EPDN. Some such systems may collect performance data (which may include configuration data) of the EPDN, which may include collecting voltage measurements, current measurements, and configuration measure- 25 ments such as data indicating whether a switch, cut-out, or recloser is open or closed, whether a capacitor bank is engaged or not, and other such performance data.
Even though a PLCS may be installed on the EPDN, elec- 3Q trie utility companies generally do not have the ability to efficiently and easily remotely monitor their power distribution networks. Consequently, there is a need for a system and method to process the data collected by a PLCS and to present performance information to the operator of an EPDN in an 35 efficient, economical, and useful manner. Additionally, it would be desirable to provide a system that provides flexible presentation of the data to the operator, that provides high level and detailed level presentations of the information, that receives a request for and responds with additional informa- 4Q tion for the operator, and that allows the operator to quickly and easily identify problems and the operational condition of the network. These and other advantages may be provided by various embodiments of the present invention.
FIG. 1 is a diagram of an exemplary power distribution system with which the present invention may be employed;
FIG. 2 is a diagram of a portion of an example power line communications system with which an example embodiment of the present invention may be used;
FIG. 3 is an illustration of an example Network Circuit Screen according to an example embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 4 is an illustration of an Element Screen according to an example embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is an illustration of an Element Performance Screen, in accordance with an example embodiment of the present invention; and
FIG. 6 is an illustration of a Device Screen according to an example embodiment of the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE
In the following description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, specific details are set forth, such as particular networks, communication systems, computers, terminals, devices, components, techniques, data and network protocols, software products and systems, operating systems, power line communications systems, development interfaces, hardware, etc. in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention.
However, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from these specific details. Detailed descriptions of well-known networks, communication systems, computers, terminals, devices, power line communications systems, components, techniques, data and network protocols, software products and systems, operating systems, development interfaces, and hardware are omitted so as not to obscure the description of the present invention.
System Architecture and General Design Concepts
FIG. 1 illustrates an example power distribution systems that includes components for power generation 100, power transmission 110, and power delivery 130, 150. A power generation source 100 generates a voltage and a transmission substation increases this voltage to high voltage (HV) levels for long distance transmission on HV transmission lines 110 to a substation transformer 120. Typical voltages found on HV transmission lines 110 range from 69 kilovolts (kV) to in excess of800kV.
In addition to HV transmission lines 110, power distribution systems include medium voltage (MV) power lines 130 and low voltage (LV) power lines 150. MV typically ranges from about 1000 V to about 100 kV, and LV typically ranges from about 100 V to about 480 V. Transformers are used to convert between the respective voltage portions, e.g., between the HV section and the MV section and between the MV section and the LV section. Transformers have a primary side for connection to a first voltage (e.g., the MV section) and a secondary side for outputting another (usually lower) voltage (e.g., the LV section). Such transformers are often referred to as distribution transformers or a step down transformers, because they "step down" the voltage to some lower voltage. Transformers, therefore, provide voltage conversion for the power distribution system. Thus, power is carried from a substation transformer 120 to a distribution transformer 140 over one or more MV power lines 130. Power is carried from the distribution transformer 140 to the customer premises via one or more LV power lines 150.