Smart grid outage detection: moving from locating faults to predicting them


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: The release below illustrates two important trends. First, sensors are dropping in cost so rapidly that we can now afford to deploy them almost anywhere needed. Second, we're moving beyond simple situational awareness - in this case, beyond just the ability to locate faults to the ability to predict them. Predictive analytics is where we'll find the ultimate benefits. - By Jesse Berst


Tollgrade LightHouse® Smart Grid Sensor Software drives industry one step closer to Predictive Grid℠ analytics


RESTON, Va., June 26, 2013 - Tollgrade Communications, Inc., the market leading provider of predictive fault analytics that is redefining a new standard for reliability at the world’s largest electric utilities and broadband providers, announced today an industry first in the availability of the latest version of their LightHouse Sensor Management System (SMS) software with predictive grid analytics. The software works with their inductively powered medium voltage smart grid sensors that provide visibility throughout the distribution network.


By providing four layers of analytical processing, the software accurately detects and classifies faults that cause outages in real-time for example, permanent faults on main feeders and blown fuses on laterals. This enables utilities to pinpoint the outage location and perform restoration faster because they know more about the fault and what equipment is required to repair it. For example, in two very large deployments in North America, the solution is detecting blown fuses on laterals 20 - 30 minutes before customers call to report the outage. All events are linked to map-view displays that make it easy for utilities to pinpoint the locations of problems for quick response and resolution.


"We need a paradigm shift in the way we think about the grid to successfully improve reliability. With Tollgrade LightHouse sensors, we can affordably inject intelligence where we need it the most - the distribution grid where most faults that cause outages occur,” said Edward H. Kennedy, President and CEO, Tollgrade Communications, Inc. "By having a library of fault events, outage detection and load planning data all in one software package, utilities can have the intelligence they need to restore outages faster today, and one day predict future problems before they cause outages on the distribution network.”