Serveron Corporation announced last month it had signed an agreement with the Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution, Inc. affiliate of Siemens AG to jointly market products and services that help prevent electric power outages.
In addition, Siemens Venture Capital has made an investment in privately held Serveron, which provides technology and services that enable electric utilities to continually monitor the performance and life expectancy of vital power distribution assets.
The marketing agreement provides for the integration of Serveron’s transformer monitor product line into Siemens’ transformer monitoring and diagnostics solutions, thereby permitting utilities to conserve physical as well as financial assets by prolonging the safe, efficient operating life of transformers. Replacing failed or at-risk transformers, which are among the most critical power distribution links between utilities and their customers, typically costs tens of millions of dollars every year.
“Reliability is a key measure for electric utilities, and improved transformer asset management is critical to their success,” said Rodney Fickler, manager of business development services at Siemens Power Transmission and Distribution. “Serveron’s transformer monitors, combined with our transformer asset management products and services, offer customers more options on how to best address asset risk mitigation for transformers, one of our customers’ largest asset classes.”
Siemens Venture Capital led Serveron’s most recent fund-raising round. Other venture investors in the company include Perseus 2000 LLC, Ventures West Management LLC, El Dorado Investment Company, Nth Power LLC, Cascadia Pacific Management and Oregon Life Sciences LLC.
“This two-pronged relationship with Siemens reflects the clear market opportunity represented by better transformer asset management,” said Bart Tichelman, CEO of Serveron. “Serveron’s proprietary gas chromatography technology enables virtually continuous measurement and assessment of a transformer’s ‘health.’ This preventive capability will enable Siemens and Serveron to develop exciting new products and services to help utilities stretch their limited capital expenditure, operating and maintenance budgets while preventing avoidable power outages.”
Power transformers are essential to reliable electric energy flow and are among the costliest assets in the electrical grid. Performing regular dissolved gas analysis (DGA) on a transformer – essentially checking its oil on site – provides the best indicator of its overall condition. DGA functions are traditionally performed off-site, manually and often only once a year by many electric utilities. Serveron’s transformer monitors function on-line, essentially performing the DGA function many times each day. Serveron's on-line transformer monitors deliver the most comprehensive DGA transformer condition assessment available.
Serveron’s gas chromatography technology reliably correlates DGA data to external events and has facilitated the prevention of many transformer failures. More than 45 major utilities already use Serveron’s products and services. These products and services help utilities avoid what the industry refers to as “unplanned failures,” thus enabling lower-cost, condition-based maintenance as well as the extension of the useful life of transformers.