Regional power grid operator Stedin on Monday brings on-line the Netherlands’ first self-repairing grid.
The new grid, which supplies power to 6,000 homes and businesses, is to reduce power cuts from several hours to just minutes.
At present, servicemen first have to locate the problem in a district affected by a power cut. They have to check dozens of substations which have to be taken off line and brought back on again after being inspected.
The new system, which according to Stedin is a combination of techniques which is a world first, identifies the location of the problem so that servicemen can go there directly. All other substations are automatically rebooted so that most of the people in the affected district will be without power for no more than a minute.
In the past few months, the city of Rotterdam was repeatedly hit by power cuts. A spokesperson for Stedin says that “For most of our customers the impact of this type of power cut would have been substantially reduced by the new system. ” He added that a number of foreign parties had already expressed interest in the new technology.
However, the self-repairing system does not work under all circumstances. For instance, a power cut like the one that hit the Utrecht suburb of Nieuwegein at the end of last week, which left 17,000 homes and businesses without power after a lighting strike . ''That is a natural disaster,” the Stedin spokesperson said. “There is nothing for it.”
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide