News articles 30.05.2023

Automatic cut-off at neutral fault prevents damage and saves costs

Quickly identifying and repairing neutral faults are among the most urgent tasks of a power grid company. Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks took on automation to help with these tasks: when the electricity meter detects a neutral fault, electricity is cut off at the metering point.

Mikko Piironen, Operations Manager at Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks, says that during the six months that the feature has been in use, there have been a couple of identified neutral fault situations.

Mikko Piironen, Operations Manager at Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks
Mikko Piironen, Operations Manager at Vantaa Energy Electricity Networks

– In a case of neutral fault, speed is of paramount importance, as a fault can cause dangerous voltage in the grounded parts of the customer’s property and break the most sensitive electrical equipment. Previously, our control room received an alarm to the operation control system, after which the control room staff has cut off the electricity remotely from the metering point via Aidon’s Gateware reading system. This has been followed by a phone call to the customer, and an installer has visited the property to troubleshoot the problem.

– The automatic disconnection is fast. We still receive an alarm about it, and otherwise the process works as before – however, the advantage is that a potential danger is prevented immediately and cutting off the electricity does not require any manual action from us. Based on experience, we can already say that there has been less damage to customers’ devices and appliances since the introduction of automatic shutdown.

According to Piironen, the neutral fault detection of Aidon meters has always worked very reliably, which is why there was no fear of unnecessary disconnections. Every neutral fault has always had a cause. Safety always comes first in these situations. The rapid elimination of faults also has a cost impact: if the cause of the neutral fault is the responsibility of the power grid company, it is also responsible for any possible repair costs.

The identification of neutral faults and the related automatic shutdown have been a basic feature in all Aidon device generations. With the new Finnish metering act from 2021, neutral fault detection became a mandatory feature for all so-called AMR 2.0 meters installed in Finland.