'Smart Enabling' distribution transformers help utilities realize true grid reliability, cost and energy savings
MONTCHANIN, Del., May 13, 2011 - GridSense, a portfolio company of Acorn Energy (NASDAQ: ACFN) today announced its partnership with On-Ramp Wireless to develop the first affordable utility distribution point monitoring system. The comprehensive system for distribution automation combines the GridSense TransformerIQ(TM) platform with On-Ramp's Ultra-Link Processing(TM) (ULP) system.
Together these technologies enable utilities to cost-effectively deploy secure and reliable monitoring throughout their distribution network for (1) asset monitoring, (2) fault indication to improve outage restoration, (3) to provide alerts to power quality issues, (4) to capture power thefts and (5) to act as a hub for demand-side load management - all with a single wireless device.
Of the approximately 1 million transformers in the US, only 2% are currently monitored. By accessing information from their network of distribution transformers and overhead lines, utilities gain savings, efficiencies, and reliability, and will avoid large unnecessary capital expenditures. For example, with accurate "real time" low-cost monitoring, utilities could reduce reserve margins from as much as 20% to as little as 10%, which on a nationwide basis could avoid almost $100 billion of capital expenditure of the next twenty years.
On-Ramp's ULP system can support 20,000 TransformerIQ monitors per Access Point. This provides capacity to spare for other distribution automation applications, and securely deliver transformer data to a utility's back office OMS/DMS and other systems.
GridSense TransformerIQ offers a quick retrofit solution onto existing energized distribution transformers, enabling a lower cost system upgrade without the impact of an outage or downtime. Working with GridSense, On-Ramp is providing utilities with the resources necessary to effectively monitor their distribution assets and improve their performance and bottom lines.
On-Ramp and GridSense will jointly pilot the Smart Transformer monitoring solution in Q2 2011.
"This partnership will bring substantial and long-awaited benefits for utilities," said Joaquin Silva, president and CEO of On-Ramp. "Together we will enable monitoring on below-ground transformers, without external antennas, which have previously been unreachable by wireless technology."
"By partnering with On-Ramp, we are able to provide utilities with next-generation 'smart enabled' transformers, capable of providing access to a large network of assets," said Lindon Shiao, CEO of GridSense. "Without this information, utilities put at risk their reliability standards and their customers' satisfaction."
About On-Ramp Wireless
On-Ramp Wireless has developed the first wireless system purpose-built to efficiently connect billions of hard-to-reach devices in metro scale and other challenging environments. On-Ramp's field-proven Ultra-Link Processing(TM) system enables low-power monitoring and control applications within Smart Grid, water efficiency, industrial sensing, and location tracking. Operating in un-licensed spectrum, our signal processing innovation finds weak signals even in high noise environments, yielding extreme coverage, immunity to high interference, and significantly lowers cost. For more information, visit www.onrampwireless.com.
About GridSense Inc.
Utilizing in-depth industry knowledge and understanding of utility requirements, we provide technology and services that help our customers address the limitations of an old and aging infrastructure.
Working in partnership with our customers and other trusted industry professionals, GridSense provides a range of monitoring solutions from portable rugged devices through to some of the world's most complete, powerful network monitoring systems on Transformers. Integrating advanced sensing and measurement capabilities with remote communications and computing technologies, GridSense has developed a range of offerings that address all the critical points along the electricity delivery system.
About Acorn Energy
Acorn Energy, Inc. is a holding company focused on technology driven solutions for energy infrastructure asset management. Our four businesses in which we have controlling interests, improve the world's energy infrastructure by making it cleaner and less expensive to operate air pollution systems for coal and gas-fired power plants (CoaLogix), more secure by providing security solutions for underwater energy infrastructure (DSIT), more reliable by providing condition monitoring instruments for critical assets on the electric grid (GridSense) and more productive and efficient by increasing oil and gas production while lowering costs through use of ultra-high sensitive seismic tools for more precise pinpointing of oil and gas reservoirs (USSI). For more information visit www.acornenergy.com.
Vantage Communications for On-Ramp
SOURCE Acorn Energy
Web Site: www.acornenergy.com