Photo by Hitachi Energy.
Wireless Spu Indicator Pr Supporting Image

Hitachi Energy Launches Digital Wildfire Prevention Technology for Power Grid Resilience

Dec. 19, 2022
The wireless spark prevention unit (SPU) Indicator increases grid resilience and reduces the risk of wildfires.

Hitachi Energy is designing a digital solution to improve grid resilience against wildfires. The new Wireless SPU Indicator helps utilities to keep important assets available by enabling remote monitoring and improved maintenance and replacement planning.

As climate change continues to cause temperatures to rise at a steady rate, longer periods of hot, dry weather play a significant role in intensifying the risk, frequency and severity of wildfires. The increasing risk of wildfires brings a number of potential consequences including severe damage to electricity infrastructure. Investigations into the causes of wildfires have highlighted the same electrical infrastructure has been found among the top potential sources of the initial spark. In particular, thermally overloaded surge arresters installed on power lines in dry areas are an area of concern for utilities.

Hitachi Energy’s spark prevention unit (SPU) monitors the current and thermal load of the surge arrester and automatically disconnects it from the network in the event of a thermal overload, therefore preventing any arcing, sparking or discharge of hot particles that could ignite a fire.

A visual indicator alerts the utility field crew to the need for replacement. Hundreds of thousands of SPUs installed in some of the world’s most wildfire-prone areas such as the United States and Australia have had a real impact in preventing wildfires.

The Wireless SPU Indicator automates visual inspection rounds to detect asset replacement by providing real-time status of an SPU, allowing utilities to perform remote monitoring and enable a strategic approach for asset maintenance and replacement planning. 

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