FuseOhm: Low-cost, non contact, fast install monitoring system for smart power grid
FuseOhm is a substation monitoring system which can be fully installed and operating within minutes, not the usual two hours needed for current monitoring equipment.
42T has developed an innovative and low-cost ‘designed for installation’ system. This will to make it easier for Distribution Network Operating companies (DNOs) to continuously monitor secondary electrical distribution substations. It also helps reduce asset maintenance costs, prevent outages and boost operational efficiencies.
Most electricity substations have a very crude form of monitoring. The only device usually available is a ‘maximum demand indicator.’ This records the peak current flow in each phase since it was last reset. It’s an electromechanical device requiring an on-site visit to read and reset.
Providing power to a retrofitted monitoring system requires strict safety precautions, often involving disrupting the supply to consumers. With careful design of the electronics such that the power consumption is low, a retrofittable monitoring and communications system can be developed that harvests power from the electrical field generated by the current flowing in the supply.
Low-cost, non contact technology
At 42T, we have developed a concept for a low-cost, non-contact system which is installed on each phase of the supplies without needing to disrupt them. It provides continuous measurement of voltage and current which can be communicated over a low power radio network such as NB-IoT.
It is continually powered whilst there is current flow and easily fitted without interrupting the supply. If monitoring is required during periods when there is little or no current flow, charge stored in a supercapacitor can provide a bridge.
This technique could be applied to any single or multi-phase electricity supply where there is sufficient electric field to power the electronics and the phases are individually accessible.
The attached device contains all the energy harvesting, sensing and communications electronics required to measure the electricity supply and occasionally communicate some data. In a multiphase system, the devices can be connected together to generate ‘pseudo-neutral’, making it possible to measure voltage in addition to current.
For a full range of applications, read this article. Interested in purchasing this breakthrough technology? Or if you have any questions please contact Paul Bearpark, details below.