Tollgrade and ELO Sistemas Eletrônicos bring grid modernization from the meter to the substation in Brazil
Strategic endeavor extends visibility from the meter to the substation allowing utilities to better pinpoint faults and outages throughout their distribution networkTollgrade Communications Inc and ELO Sistemas Eletrônicos(ELO), announced that they have signed a strategic agreement to bring increased reliability, visibility and modernization to the electric grid throughout Brazil and the other rapidly growing countries in Latin America.
Under the terms of the agreement, ELO will offer and sell Tollgrade’s industry-leading LightHouse® distribution monitoring platform, consisting of Medium Voltage (MV) Smart Grid Sensors and Sensor Management Software (SMS) with Predictive Grid℠ Analytics.
The LightHouse solution augments ELO’s existing product portfolio to provide an end-to-end solution that provides visibility to better pinpoint faults and outages that extend from the meter to the substation.“We chose to partner with Tollgrade because they are the leader in providing inductively powered smart grid sensors with predictive analytics,” said Marcos Rizzo, vice president of Business Development of ELO. “This solution will allow us to improve reliability beyond the meter by monitoring the grid health conditions of the millions of miles of largely unmonitored feeder networks that connect cities and stretch out into rural areas of Brazil and Latin America.”According to the Edison Electric Institute, 90 percent of outages occur on the distribution network. The LightHouse solution, which is deployed outside substations and along feeders on the distribution network, helps utilities increase reliability, reduce outages, and achieve faster restoration by providing the real-time grid health information needed to troubleshoot some of the leading causes of power outages. Tollgrade’s library of fault events, outage detection and load planning data all in one software package provides the intelligence utilities need to restore outages faster, and to better understand the causes of outages on the distribution network.“Brazil is a global leader in smart grid deployment and ELO is a key leader in the region’s charge toward grid modernization,” said Erik Christian, Vice President Smart Grid at Tollgrade Communications. “Our solution helps utilities restore power after outages faster and more affordably, which will in turn help Brazil to lead the region and the world in providing a reliable and affordable supply of energy to support its rapidly growing economy.”The Tollgrade LightHouse platform consists of:
- Medium Voltage (MV) Sensors:software-defined, inductively powered sensors with flexible cellular or Wi-Fi communications that operate all the way down to three amps. The sensors are lightweight and easily installed with a “hot stick” so they can be deployed on the line in a matter of minutes. Key sensor measurements include: load current, fault current, power factor, phase angle, sags, surges, wire temperature and harmonics.
- SMS software with Predictive Grid Analytics:classifies power disturbance events and provides the visualization and situational awareness needed to quickly respond to load planning, outages, and power quality challenges. Through a DNP3 interface, the software provides easy integration into a utility’s critical back office systems (SCADA, Outage Management Systems, Distribution Management Systems, etc.).
Tollgrade is the only sensing solution to deliver grid visibility down to three amps through inductively powered sensors that eliminate the maintenance costs required to support battery-powered alternatives.
Unlike first-generation fault indicators, the LightHouse platform combines its highly accurate sensor technology with an analytics software package to classify grid conditions and assess the health of the network.
This grid health data can be analyzed so utilities understand more of the “cause and effect” behind disturbances like momentaries, outages or equipment failures.
Within the software, customizable rules can be defined to alert utilities to inefficient operating conditions, subtle system failures, or indications of anomalous behavior that are early indications of future outages. During an outage, visualization tools pinpoint locations to reduce drive and restoration times.
The solution is used by some of the world’s largest Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs), Distribution System Operators (DSOs) and municipalities to reduce outage minutes, improve reliability metrics, balance loads and protect important assets like substation transformers.