T&D World Magazine
futuristic helicopter
<p>There was excitement in the air &ndash; literally, with two drones and this futuristic helicopter on the Distributech Show floor.</p> <p>We are increasingly seeing utilities worldwide turn to drones, helicopter and fixed wing planes to survey, inspect, maintain and construct lines.</p> <p>I have flown with my AEP buddies to inspect a 765kV line under construction and to watch linemen placing spacer dampers from buggies.</p> <p>The sky is the limit.</p>

Ricks Ramblings: Wednesday Show Floor Musings at Distributech

Sometimes you go to a booth and find that there is a small meeting room somewhere in the back of the booth. That was not the case at the Elster booth. The meeting room was essentially a see-through plexiglass cylinder in the center of the booth space. But once inside, I didn’t seem so exposed. Chief strategic thinker Ron Pate absolutely blew my mind when he described Elster’s new Connexo Platform. A wonderful mix of proprietary (speed of communications transfer) and open architecture greeted me. Expect Elster’s platform to make waves.

A stop at Trimble had me meeting with George Karayannis, the energy sales director. Trimble has quite a robust Outage Management System and we will look to cover utility roll-outs. I hadn’t realized that Trimble has worked their offerings down into the bread-and-butter functions of the distribution company. And George is one energetic individual  who makes me laugh. I want to hang around him some more.

Over at Siemens, I met with Mike Carlson, the head of the Smart Grid business. He spent stints at other companies including Xcel Energy and is a walking Wikipedia of contacts in the smart grid space. We had the opportunity to chat distributed resources, microgrids and all things smart grid.

I also enjoyed my stop at Varentec. I was hunting up my friend Deepak Divan, but he was sequestered in a back room in a meeting. Maybe it was for the best as I had a chance to talk with Andrew Dillon, founder, about how their advanced power electronics enable power flow control on the distribution system enabling volt/Var control and more.

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