Product News: Sensors Monitors & Transducers

Fault Detection System pinpoints underground cable failure.

Press Release Summary:

Jan 29, 2008 - Designed to help utilities reduce outage time stemming from cable failure, Smart Grid(TM) solution delivers communications, embedded advanced sensing, and distributed intelligence needed to detect location of underground cable faults. System is comprised of voltage and current sensors, measurement-based event triggering, communications network, and analysis software. Alerts can be sent automatically to person in utility, or crews can be automatically dispatched.

Current Technology - Irving, TX

Original Press Release

CURRENT Introduces Remote Underground Fault Detection

Press release date: Jan 22, 2008

Smart Grid Advanced Underground Sensors Enable Industry First

GERMANTOWN, Md., Jan. 22 -- CURRENT Group, LLC announced today advanced distribution current sensing and remote underground (URD) fault detection. Using the three components of a Smart Grid - high-speed communications, embedded advanced sensing and distributed intelligence - CURRENT is able to accurately detect the location of underground cable faults allowing utilities to reduce outage time when a cable fails.

The California Energy Commission (CEC) has reported approximately 40 percent of all electricity outages are the result of underground failures. The CEC identified failing underground cable as one of the most critical reliability problems faced by utilities throughout the country as many of the installed cables are nearing the end of their useful lives.

"The improved efficiency and reliability from our underground fault detection solution is a good example of why the new federal energy legislation emphasized Smart Grid as the National Policy," said Tom Casey, CURRENT's Chief Executive Officer. "The federal government and forward-thinking utilities and regulators recognize that you need high-speed communications, sensing and distributed analytics to make a meaningful improvement in the efficiency, reliability and the environmental impact of electricity. The recent announcement by Xcel Energy on their Smart City is just the first of several large utilities deploying our Smart Grid solution."

A recent KEMA newsletter reported the successful demonstration of CURRENT's fault detection system at KEMA Powertest's facilities, "If an MV (medium voltage) fault is detected, the system localizes it to the span between two transformers and reports that location back to the operations center just milliseconds after the fault has occurred."

The CURRENT Smart Grid(TM) solution makes continuous detailed measurements of voltages and currents using sensors throughout the distribution system. Distributed intelligence within the sensor systems identifies measurements that may indicate system problems, triggering the messaging of these measurements through CURRENT's low latency, high bandwidth communications network. CURRENT Smart Grid software performs advanced analyses on these measurements to identify operational problems and overloads, and to predict imminent distribution system component failures. Alerts are sent automatically to the appropriate person in the utility or crews can be automatically dispatched.

To learn more about the CURRENT Smart Grid solution, please visit us at Booth #2048 at the DistribuTECH Conference from January 22 - 24.


CURRENT provides electric utilities a Smart Grid solution that increases the efficiency and reliability of the electric grid while reducing the environmental impact of electric usage. Our integrated solution combines advanced sensing technology, two-way high-speed communications, 24/7 monitoring and enterprise analysis software and related services to provide location-specific, real-time actionable data. CURRENT is also a fully integrated communications service provider, with the capability to offer high- performance broadband services and home energy management services to every plug in every home or office using the electric wires.

CURRENT, a privately held company based in Germantown, MD, was founded in 2000. Investors include EnerTech Capital, Google Inc., Goldman Sachs & Co., and Liberty Associated Partners (an investment partnership between Liberty Media Corporation and the Berkman family), among others. CURRENT has been recognized by many awards including the 2006 Platts' "Global Energy Commercial Technology of the Year" for its technology in relation to emissions reduction, practicality, reliability and overall commercial success, and Red Herring's 2006 "Top 100 North America."

CONTACT: Melissa Kresse for CURRENT, +1-212-850-5695,