In the US, the Department of Energy (DoE) invested $10 million for research, development and testing of a solution which would help utilities improve management of distributed energy resources and reliability of grid networks.
The DoE through its Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability has selected energy technology research and development firm PARC, Con Edison and GE to improve and pilot a smart monitoring system.
The three parties will test the ability of the Transformer Assessment Intelligent System with an embedded network of sensors and optical readout (TRANSENSOR) to improve the safety of distributed grid assets through real-time monitoring.
The pilot will include combining embedded fiber optic sensors and intelligent algorithms to operate and manage distribution transformers.
TRANSENSOR will be used “to sense internal parameters, gather state information, and predict safety conditions and remaining life” of DERs.
GE will conduct testing in order to prove the integration of TRANSENSOR with the company’s Safe-NET distribution transformers. GE’s transformers integrated with TRANSENSOR will be deployed by Con Edison.
According to a statement, the use of the technology will help Con Edison to improve customer services by predicting future failures of the grid system.
TRANSENSOR was developed by PARC in partnership with the DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy under the AMPED initiative. The technology has previously been tested for its ability to improve EV battery management systems with LG Chem Power and General Motors.
The development of the technology falls under efforts by PARC to develop solutions which would help increase the use of clean energy by enabling service providers to manage energy systems in real time. The company’s focus is on improving energy storage for EVs and electric grid support, and in harsh-environment sensors to optimise energy utilisation.