html{display:none} DNA (Distribution Network Automation) | Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories

DNA (Distribution Network Automation)


SEL DNA systems increase system operational efficiency and reduce operating costs to address increasing customer expectations for affordable and reliable electric service. As a leader in delivering scalable, modular distribution automation systems that meet your specific requirements, SEL offers comprehensive engineered systems and provides individual components for utilities that want to build their own systems. Our DNA systems combine fast protection with flexible automation control and communications for a distribution automation solution that makes your system safer, more reliable, and more economical.

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Maintaining the safe operation of the power system is a top priority for every utility. All DNA systems are built with the philosophy that protection is the top priority and includes preserving coordination with reconfiguration. DNA systems also use new methods, such as Arc Sense technology (AST), allowing detection of more faults than ever before. AST-equipped substation relays and recloser controls can detect high-impedance faults that cannot be detected with conventional distribution protection, reducing the risk of electrocution or fires from downed conductors.

More Reliable
Keeping the lights on and having a high level of reliability is not just a desire, but a necessity for many utility customers. DNA systems include automated reconfiguration schemes and provide the highest level of reliability by sectionalizing the smallest portion of the system when a fault occurs and maintaining service elsewhere. Automatic Network Reconfiguration allows the distribution system to “self-heal,” keeping the lights on for most consumers and rerouting power automatically around one or more faulted areas. Additionally, fault location technology quickly guides crews to the fault point so repairs can be made and service restored more quickly.

More Economical
Improving the efficient operation of the distribution system is one of the most cost-effective ways to meet the ever-changing demands on the grid. The amount of load on the distribution system is constantly changing, and the stresses this puts on the system will likely intensify with new loads and sources, like plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and distributed generation (DG). Volt/VAR control is one of the most cost-effective means to improve distribution efficiency and reduce system losses. SEL DNA systems can include capacitor and voltage regulator controls to flatten the voltage profile along feeders. This improves power factor and reduces system losses, thus improving the customer experience and reducing energy costs.


A Self-Healing Network

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A Self-Healing Network

AEP Ohio Keeps The Lights On With SEL Automation

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AEP Ohio Keeps The Lights On With SEL Automation

Engineering an Automated Solution

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Engineering an Automated Solution

Improving Distribution System Reliability

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Improving Distribution System Reliability

DNA Capabilities

DNA systems offer a comprehensive set of capabilities that improve reliability, increase system operational efficiency, and reduce operating costs. Systems may include a broad set of functionalities or a subset that address your specific needs. The scalable, modular approach allows new capabilities to be added over time, growing with your distribution automation needs. A distribution automation controller (DAC) provides centralized or distributed intelligence and control. Larger systems use one or more DACs and exchange information for optimal system control.

System Components


Start With the Best Protection Relays

In addition to providing outstanding protection for your distribution system and equipment, DNA systems use SEL relays as one of the fundamental building blocks. This allows DNA systems to be economically added to existing distribution protection systems. Common relays used in DNA systems include the SEL-351 Protection System; SEL-451 Protection, Automation, and Bay Control System; SEL-751 Feeder Protection Relay; and SEL-700GW Wind Generator Relay.

3530 RTAC Family

Use Powerful Automation Controllers

DNA systems can use programming and logic in individual reclosers or relays or can use comprehensive programming implemented in distributed or centralized automation controllers with real-time monitoring, graphical human-machine interfaces (HMIs), centralized event collection, etc. Using ruggedized real-time automation controllers (RTACs), such as the SEL-3555 RTAC, or substation-rated computers, such as the SEL-3355 Computer, provides a powerful and reliable distribution automation system.


Integrate the SEL-FT50 and SEL-FR12 Fault Transmitter and Receiver System

Use the SEL-FT50 and SEL-FR12 to send information via the relay or recloser control into your DNA system to improve fault location and situational awareness. The system quickly sends fault signals to accelerate tripping, speed up restoration, and improve safety.


Add Recloser Controls

SEL offers a variety of recloser controls that work with most of the popular recloser systems. Whether you use the SEL-651R Advanced Recloser Control, SEL-651RA Recloser Control, or SEL-351RS Single-Phase Recloser Control, an SEL DNA system will reliably sectionalize and reconfigure the system.


Control Capacitor Banks, Voltage Regulators, and More

In addition to using feeder relays and recloser controls, DNA systems can incorporate capacitor bank control and monitoring using SEL-734B Advanced Monitoring and Control Systems, SEL-2431 Voltage Regulator Controls, and SEL-2411 Programmable Automation Controllers for motor-operated switch control. Including these devices provides a more capable system.


Enhance Cybersecurity

SEL DNA systems implement pragmatic and effective cybersecurity measures that ensure access for authorized utility engineers while preventing unauthorized access and that fit into a larger NERC CIP compliant system.

Cybersecurity cannot be achieved by one person, product, or technology. Real system-wide protection starts with the understanding that it takes teamwork to achieve success. SEL believes that combining layered security protections with the efforts of protection engineers, information technology (IT) personnel, and compliance engineers leads to a secure and compliant solution. Power engineers demand the most reliable systems and services for their control and protection settings. Settings cannot be disturbed, cables cannot be switched, and significant latency cannot be tolerated. Engineers must have full access to control their equipment 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The SEL cybersecurity implementation in our DNA solutions protects these assets, satisfies IT needs, and assists in NERC CIP compliance while enabling power engineers to work efficiently.


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