Tollgrade Communications shared its latest findings on its grid modernisation project with DTE Energy to predict power outages before they occur, in a second Predictive Grid Quarterly Report now available for download. It is estimated that U.S businesses lose on average $15,709 every 30 minutes during a power outage. These losses add up quickly and annually cost the U.S. $104 billion to $164 billion nationwide, say analysts. Another $15 billion to $20 billion is lost annually due to power quality disturbances such as ‘momentaries,’ short outages that cause clocks to blink, computers to lose their data or manufacturing lines to stop unexpectedly, damaging equipment.
“Our nation’s electricity grid infrastructure is beginning to break down, causing at times substantial power outages. Predicting and preparing for these outages could save the community and businesses in Detroit millions of dollars annually,” said Edward H. Kennedy, President and CEO, Tollgrade Communications, Inc. “With these Predictive Grid Reports, we plan to benchmark DTE Energy’s best practice so they are valuable to the entire energy industry and practical for other utilities to use.”
The Tollgrade LightHouse platform is the only solution to provide advanced detection of outages by classifying and detecting ‘power line disturbance’ events and momentaries. Using the data, utilities can predict outages to avoid them or, during bad weather when outages are unavoidable, get the lights back on faster.
To modernise its grid, DTE Energy is deploying Tollgrade LightHouse Smart Grid Sensors with the goal of preventing and reducing the length of power outages throughout the Detroit metropolitan area over the next two years. This is the second of eight reports to be released under Tollgrade’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) comprehensive grid modernisation project with DTE Energy entitled, ‘Building a Predictive Grid for the Motor City.’
In last quarter’s report, Predictive Grid Report Volume 1, ‘line disturbances,’ which are short-lived fault events that do not trip protection devices or typically raise alarms, were identified as a tell-tale sign that an outage or asset failure may occur. This second Predictive Grid Report stresses once again the importance of those disturbances. The report provides a compelling real life example of Tollgrade’s LightHouse Smart Grid sensors assisting another large utility in the northeast U.S which identifies the cause of flickering lights to several hundred customers. The LightHouse solution discovered the root cause of the problem within days of the LightHouse sensors being deployed on the power lines.
“Tollgrade and DTE Energy are committed to establishing a benchmark for a new and innovative process to make the grid more reliable,” said Vince Dow, DTE vice president, Distribution Operations. “The idea is to utilise LightHouse sensors and analytics to begin to identify outages before they occur and minimise the impact of aging infrastructure on our distribution grid.”