Electric power utilities throughout the world are undergoing considerable change in structure, operation, and regulation. One of the major effects of this change is increased importance of distribution automation. With improved Distribution Automation (DA), both the reliability and the efficiency of electric power distribution can be increased. Communication system is essential to performance of automated distribution systems. It is necessary to perform reliability assessments of communication facilities in carrying out the control functions. The paper describes an approach for reliability evaluation of the communication and control. This approach is based on the event tree methodology, and by using it sensitivity studies are performed to predict impact of communication system. It indicates that the reliable communication system is essential to the secure and reliable operation of automation system. The improvements in communication reliability can have a significant impact on the control function performance.
The results of the studies are discussed and the importance of the communication system on the reliable automation performance is demonstrated in the paper.