GridSense has announced that two major utilities will use its LineIQ overhead line monitoring solution to cost-effectively collect intelligence from previously unmonitored substations.
Even in this era of the emerging smart grid, a significant percentage of substations lack intelligence of any kind. Traditionally, retrofitting substations to provide remote intelligence required a time and cost commitment to full metering. In many instances, even spot monitoring inside the substation is particularly expensive due to internal and regulatory requirements. Considering that utilities might have up to 1000 lines feeding into their substations, the cost and time for retrofit can quickly grow prohibitive.
To gain intelligence at unmonitored substations in a cost-effective manner, two U.S. utilities will deploy GridSense LineIQ to monitor 15 kV and 69 kV feeder lines as they come into—but before they reach—the substation. "It was only through working closely with the utilities that we realized how serious an issues this was," says Brandy Henson, GridSense Sales Manager. "The two utilities helped us understand how we could extend the product to offer a unique response to a surprisingly common problem."
The utilities chose LineIQ because it allows them to leverage their substations' existing communications networks, whether cellular, WiFi, or wireless networks. The technology is compatible with multiple options, in this instance one utility is using the Silver Spring radio and the other the Sensus radio. In addition, LineIQ's solar power with battery backup lets both utilities avoid the time and cost of tapping into the substation power supply.
Using LineIQ, these organizations are bypassing the high cost of metering at the substation, while gaining smart grid intelligence that can help prevent outages and guarantee the quality and reliability of supply. The programmable units will monitor faults, current, voltage, and record and log ambient and conductor temperature.
"LineIQ's self-powered mechanism, expansive communications options and advanced sensing capabilities are providing new ways to identify issues before they become outages," Says Henson. "In unmonitored substations, the industry needs the smart grid benefit of practicing preventive maintenance instead of reactive repair. LineIQ now provides that in a way that's more cost-effective than previously thought possible."