T&D World Magazine

Cellular Sensors Support Asset Management, Big Data, Medium-Voltage Visibility

Tollgrade’s new sensors, a cellular version of its LightHouse Medium Voltage distribution line sensors, help utility companies improve asset management and increase reliability by analyzing and digesting grid health data into meaningful and actionable intelligence.

LightHouse sensors, including the new cellular sensors, sit in the medium voltage distribution grid and provide critical metrics including load current, fault current, electric field strength, power factor, phase angle, sags, surges, wire temperature and harmonics. While the high voltage grid has a number of sensors to manage grid assets, and the low voltage grid has smart meters, the medium voltage grid has lacked the visibility required for managing assets and providing predictive analytics. Tollgrade’s LightHouse sensors fill this gap.

The LightHouse sensors enhance the reliability of the grid and are inductively powered. Unlike battery-powered sensors that require frequent replacement and can fail without warning, LightHouse is maintenance-free and dependable. At the same time, the Tollgrade distribution line sensors are still able to operate down to 3 Amps, making them available to monitor sparsely populated areas of the grid.

The Tollgrade LightHouse Sensor Management System (SMS) software consolidates circuit measurements, provides map-view displays of sensors and events, and integrates to Data Historian, SCADA, OMS and DMS systems. Within the software, customizable rules can be defined to alert utilities to inefficient operating conditions, subtle system failures, or indications of anomalous behavior that are early indicators of future outages.

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