MANHASSET, NY -- The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a grant to On-Ramp Wireless for a project to install an intelligent system to monitor events in the underground distribution grid.
On-Ramp will connect below-ground distribution grid sensors with a fixed installed network in partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison
The system will use on-Ramp's Ultra-Link Processing wireless communication system underground for the first time to help manage the two utilities’ grid sensors.
Overall, there are tens of thousands of distribution grid sensors, above and below ground, whose sensors end up being largely unmonitored until a fault event occurs, usually in an emergency situation.
On-Ramp’s ULP technology will help to reliably and securely reach into the below ground sensors, which would significantly reduce time to isolate, repair and restore service to consumers. ULP finds weak signals in high noise environments.
Earlier this year On-Ramp successfully demonstrated the ability to connect wireless sensors throughout the distribution grid in a field test with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
SEL’s wireless sensors for overhead lines were combined with On-Ramp’s ULP system to monitor and report real-time fault indication and condition data. That field test enabled a comprehensive view of the distribution grid performance.
The DOE grant to On-Ramp was awarded earlier this month as part of Department of Energy’s more than $19 million for five projects aimed at optimizing the nation's electric grid.
The projects included awards to Areva T&D, Inc. for designing and testing a platform for integrating distributed energy resources into the electric grid; Boeing Company to demonstrate a automated and self-healing electric distribution management; ABB Inc. to research, develop, and demonstrate a real-time monitoring, control, and health management; and Varentec, Inc. to conduct R&D on a wide range of next-generation power electronics.