Timothy Wells, Line Tech 1, works on a FLISR installation in Orlando’s Rosemont neighborhood.

OUC is testing a “self-healing” grid technology that is expected to dramatically minimize storm-related power disruptions in Orlando’s Rosemont neighborhood, a community that has experienced above-normal outages due to severe weather.

Installed in March 2019 and undergoing a yearlong test, Fault Location, Isolation, and Service Restoration (FLISR) is a software-based Smart Grid platform that automatically reconfigures the flow of electricity to most, if not all, customers who would have been impacted by a fault, which causes a power disruption or outage. FLISR also locates the fault, reducing the time it takes OUC line technicians to find and repair damaged lines.

The Rosemont test gives OUC an opportunity to measure FLISR’s resiliency and effectiveness during the summer storm season. Located in North Orlando, Rosemont has been impacted by weather-related power disruptions more frequently than other areas most likely due to a thick tree canopy interacting with powerlines.

“I hope that by the end of this summer the residents of Rosemont take notice that OUC is serious about improving reliability to their community,” said Fabian Richards, Manager of Distribution Planning and Reliability Engineering at OUC. Richards has personally responded to Rosemont residents who complained about frequent outages, telling them OUC was committed to resolving service disruptions to their homes.

OUC has set high expectations for FLISR: Not only are fewer customer outages expected but when there is an outage the duration for those impacted should be shorter. If it proves to be effective, OUC will install FLISR in other parts of the power grid.

Keith Mutters, Director of System Planning and Reliability Engineering at OUC, said FLISR’s effectiveness is being evaluated on two key metrics: 1) Overall improvement in reliability performance, and 2) the long-term cost to our customers.

“We have to keep our customers’ bills affordable, and this pilot project will prove what the real world FLISR costs and benefits are on the OUC system,” said Mutters.

Added Richards, “The best outcome we could hope for is residents never, or just barely, notice that there’s been a disruption in service due to a fault somewhere on a circuit.”