Smart Sensors Discovered to Better Prevent Power Outages

Published Date : Apr 12, 2018

It is usually only after the power has been lost that the natural breakdown underground cables, overhead power lines, and other electricity infrastructure comes to notice. To find a plausible solution to the issue, a way that can help present a reliable prediction and prevent and detect issues with electrical equipment, researchers from the University of Akron are modifying a well-known detection technology by Exacter, Inc., a Columbus-based technology company providing detection solutions to the utilities sector.

The researchers are miniaturizing the detection technology to make it more suitable for applications on transmission lines and electrical distribution lines. Researchers are creating smart sensors of the size of cell phones that can measure and detect radio frequency signals from electrical components to set aside the ones that could be faulty.

The current detection solutions require that electrical equipment undergoes on-site inspection by technicians. The new sensors, on the other hand, can gather and transmit data incessantly, allowing electric utilities to monitor the grid’s health and identify the problem areas that could lead to power failure, including potential dangers such as explosions and fire hazards. The project has received funds worth more than $3 mn from the Innovation Platform Program from the Ohio Development Service Agency. The project has also gained inputs from nearly 25 electrical utilities from across the country.

The sensors are a latest addition to the several Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solutions being introduced across the globe. These sensors are the first of their kinds and can prove to be crucial to understanding better a number of factors that can have an adverse impact on the transmission of electricity and lead to power outages.