T&D World Magazine

Grid Assessment Technology Enables Utilities to Recover from Sandy

Getting power back on is just the first step in the recovery process from major storm events. However, storms weaken the infrastructure and leave it vulnerable to more outages.

“Right now utilities are making strategic decisions on what to repair and what to rebuild,” states John Lauletta, founder and CEO of Exacter, Inc, a company providing reliability analytics and grid assessment technology to the electric utility industry. “Using our assessment technology, utilities can both find problems for restoring power, and actually identify hidden damage to equipment, lines, and circuits that have been weakened by the storm and vulnerable to future outages.”

Exacter’s technology delivers a circuit-by-circuit health assessment providing utility maintenance crews with true conditions-based data for prioritizing their work schedule, and allowing management a new level of field intelligence to determine which circuits to repair and which to rebuild. The assessment data and analytics are so detailed they can even identify specific components on specific poles exhibiting a weakened condition.

“Sandy storm recovery presents a whole new level of challenges because of population density and the aging/degrading condition of the east and Mid-Atlantic distribution system,” continued Lauletta. “The aftershock effects, wind damage and unseen problems that will manifest themselves over the next few months could overload the standard run-to-failure approach to maintenance. The bright side for utilities is that new challenges often lead to new solutions, and that’s where our conditions-based analytics come in.”

Utilities that have used Exacter conditions-based assessment data are able to work “smarter” and not only accelerate the restoration of power, but allow management to better target circuits for either strategic repair or total rebuild. “There is limited time, limited manpower, and limited budgets. Being able to see a map with accurate predictive intelligence on the health of each circuit across the grid is a game-changing tool in the long-term recovery from the devastation of Sandy,” concluded Lauletta.

Exacter performs electrical grid assessments that provide reliability data and predictive analytics. Their process and information has been instrumental in a variety of preventive maintenance, reliability, smart grid, and system-hardening programs around the world.

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