Sentient Energy, Inc. has signed a contract with Florida Power & Light Co. to deliver 20,000 Sentient MM3 intelligent distribution grid sensors. These sensors will help FPL locate outages quicker and get crews to an electric fault location faster to speed restoration for its 4.8 million customers in Florida.
“We are delighted to be part of FPL’s strategy to improve customer reliability and grid safety,” said Sentient Energy CEO, Jim Keener. “For years, FPL has been seen as an innovation leader in the utility industry. We are seeing other utilities looking to benefit from FPL’s best practices.”
The contract also includes Sentient’s Ample Analytics Platform, which will allow FPL to capture data related to outages. Ample Analytics will enable FPL to identify and analyze other power grid disturbances so they can be addressed before an event occurs.
The Sentient MM3 intelligent sensor deployment is a major component of FPL’s reliability improvement strategy. It began in 2013 as part of FPL’s “Energy Smart Florida” program and has grown from a 3,000 unit pilot to include more than 20,000 sensors across FPL’s 42,000 miles of overhead lines. The Sentient Energy contract will result in the largest utility distribution grid line sensor deployment in the world.
“The goal of our initial pilot was to prove we could identify locations of electrical outages more accurately, helping us respond more quickly and speed restoration for our customers,” said Manny Miranda, senior vice president of power delivery for FPL. “The Sentient line sensors proved effective during our pilot program. We are excited about a full-scale deployment, and with the new analytics software, we hope to prevent many of these faults from occurring in the first place.”
The new Sentient MM3 sensors are equipped with high-resolution oscillography technology that will allow FPL to detect minute disturbances on the grid and use this information to isolate faults, detect defective equipment before it fails, and analyze the unique patterns of these events to predict the likelihood of future outages. These sensors continuously monitor the grid and immediately send useful data back to the utility for analysis and response. As a result, FPL will build a database of historical data that it will use to analyze, predict, and repair potential faults before they occur.
“Our strategic partnership with FPL has helped us develop the industry’s most accurate and reliable distribution grid fault detection and analysis system, capable of monitoring the grid at thousands of locations, while using the data it collects to achieve greater reliability at a lower cost, “ said Keener. “We believe that in the near future, distribution grid sensors equipped with advanced analytics and communications technology will play a significant role in providing reliable service at many other forward-looking utilities.”