T&D World Magazine

Southeastern Utility Adopts Transformer Monitoring System for Major Project

A leading Southeastern electric utility has selected the GridSense's TransformerIQ to monitor more than 2000 transformers in one metropolitan county in its service territory. This project is expected to be a showcase for smart grid distribution optimization demonstrating the scalability and impact of affordable monitoring solutions on electric reliability. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided half the funding for the project.

There are over 20 million transformers in the United States. According to Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company, which insures most transformers in the U.S., the average age of transformers in the United States is 37 years old. Transformers are designed for a maximum 40-year life. It would cost utilities tens of billions of dollars to replace old and aging transformers, with resulting rate increases to consumers.

The TransformerIQ is designed to cost less than 2% of the transformers' replacement cost, and can help extend their useful lives. This monitoring platform is easy to install and can monitor up to 28 different parameters including operating temperatures, predicted asset life, system capacity, vault load switching, faults and interruptions and operating current voltage and power factor. In addition to the compelling savings involved, the use of the TransformerIQ will help utilities avoid prolonged service interruptions.

Kevin Andersen, inventor of the TransformerIQ said, "I have spent my entire career in transformer monitoring and I knew that if we could provide real-time monitoring of all the key parameters of transformer failure, at the right price point, utilities would adopt the product en masse. All transformers from large generation step-up down to the distribution pole top can now be monitored affordably with the TransformerIQ."

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