System Operations of Davao Light ensure reliable power across franchise areas

March 06, 2023

System Operations of Davao Light ensure reliable power across franchise areas

A widescreen occupying half of the room, called the Graphic User Interface (GUI), shows the real-time data across the different substations and line device equipment in the franchise areas of Davao Light and Power Co. Inc., an AboitizPower subsidiary.

Strong winds, animals, vegetation, or branches falling off trees that are touching the power lines are just some of the causes of power interruptions. Thus, the role of the System Operations Department (SOD) is to ensure that the causes of these power interruptions are identified so the linemen can resolve them the soonest time possible.

“The System Operations Department (SOD) ensures the reliability of the distribution system of Davao Light as well as the continuous delivery of power to our customers 24/7,” SOD head, Engr. Virmel Dabon said in an interview.

The people behind the department are the System Operations and SCADA Engineers. On the one hand, the System Operations Engineers monitor the delivery of quality power and ensure that widespread power interruptions are restored as soon as possible.

The said engineers routinely undergo a simulation called load studies, which are contingency plans on where to transfer the loads to a stable power source during a planned or unplanned power interruption. They also obtain electrical data such as the voltage, current, and power status of Davao Light. In addition, the System Operation Engineers conduct tabletop and actual simulation exercises to ensure their preparedness and readiness during power outages.

This was made possible because of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system currently employed in the private utility company. With SCADA, engineers can now remotely collect and process data coming from the different franchise areas of Davao Light using fiber optic lines and microwave wireless systems as communication links, which makes communication between different remote devices easier and more efficient.

On the other hand, the SCADA engineers operate and maintain the system. The SCADA system is a vital tool in remotely monitoring and controlling line devices and substation equipment. This enables engineers to make smarter and faster decisions when it comes to transferring the load from one power source to another, enabling faster restoration of power during outages.

The SCADA system has been utilized by the private utility company since 1996. It evolved technologically over time, in line with the vision of Davao Light to be a world-class electric utility.

“As the Aboitiz Group gears toward its GT2025 goals to become the Philippines’ first techglomerate, the System Operations Department will continue to improve its operations through a more advanced Automated Distribution Management System (ADMS) which will pinpoint the cause of power interruptions on a surgical level,” Engr. Dabon shared the department’s plans for the future.

Davao Light gives rise to solutions that pave the way for the development of the communities in its franchise area by providing better service to its customers through the advancement of its technologies.

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