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Torino Power Solutions to Install Power Line Monitoring Sensor at New England Utility

Torino Power Solutions Inc. plans to install its Power Line Monitoring sensor technology in October for one of the largest utility companies in the northeastern United States.

Torino Power Solutions Inc. plans to install its Power Line Monitoring (PLM) sensor technology in October for one of the largest utility companies in the northeastern United States. The installation of the Torino PLM will be on a problem distribution line in a major city center in Connecticut. The utility, based in New England, controls several regulated subsidiaries offering retail electricity and natural gas service to more than three million customers. The PLM is being installed on a pilot basis with terms for purchase after an evaluation period is successfully completed.

 “We have made a considerable investment in understanding how to accurately and precisely measure the temperature of a conductor during dynamic events," says Rav Mlait, CEO of Torino.

In contrast, he says many of his company's competitors fail to tell their clients that the installation of any sensing device on a conductor significantly changes the temperature of the conductor at that location.

"This is problematic if you are using the temperature sensor for closed loop dynamic rating or even in open loop operator decisions to increase the current through a heavily loaded conductor that is reaching its thermal limit," he says. "This is why there is so much conservatism in the line rating calculations (CIGRE)."

Torino has made significant changes to its product that minimizes the temperature impact of the physical installation on the conductor.

"We are now building an extensive calibration and characterization database of all electrical grid conductors," he says. "This investment is being done as part of the goal of being the leading supplier of accurate and precise temperature sensors for the growing mandatory market requirements of closed-loop dynamic line rating.”

Torino's patented microwave cavity sensor technology delivers real-time temperature measurements of overhead power lines that allow for increased transmission capacity, improved grid resiliency, lower energy costs and bottleneck elimination. Torino sensors can be deployed quickly and begin transmitting real-time data to the utility almost immediately. Torino is focused on servicing utilities that are seeking new innovative sensor technology to improve grid performance and reduce costs for their customers.

In addition, Torino recently announced that it made enhancements to its line monitoring system to improve reliability and reduce the cost of manufacturing the product. Here are some of the modifications:

  • Engineers have developed a new thermal contact insulator that can be of made of silicon cast, replacing the PTFE machined part used before. This will reduce the cost of production of this component by a factor of almost 20 times. The previous insulator was one of the more expensive components of the sensor.
  • Software engineers have made significant changes to the PLM system database architecture and interoperability to improve integration with Internet of Things platforms. Real-time power line temperature data produced by Torino sensors, used for dynamic line ratings, will be easier to access via the web, reducing the need for middle-ware. Torino’s web-based data console, for utility asset managers, now updates 10 times faster. Furthermore, changes to the database architecture will allow for enhanced control of interrogators in the field.
  • The company has reduced the cost of production to the sensor clamping mechanism by a factor of 10 times by moving to a die cast process.
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