Underground line sensor platform upgraded by Sentient Energy

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Sentient Energy has expanded by 4x the monitoring capacity of its UM3+ distribution line sensor for underground circuits.

The upgrading with an incremental plug-and-play component supports monitoring for up to four positions and twelve phases in a switchgear.

This new modular design enables utilities to monitor three, six, nine or twelve primary power cables with a single communications and processing unit, thereby increasing efficiencies and savings while extending visibility and control to more lines at the grid edge.

The new multi-position UM3+ sensor installs inside a switchgear and collects data, which is then sent to the Sentient Energy platform where advanced grid analytics are performed to detect anomalies.

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In parallel, the data can also be sent to SCADA/DMS/OMS at the utility’s control centre.

Utilising one high capacity sensor in each pad-mounted transformer, operators reduce the space required for sensors inside the transformer box. And remote indication of faults means faster restoration and reduced frequency and duration of outages.

“Large utilities that have multiple branches in their distribution network need greater visibility and control of each line at the grid edge,” said Monika Murugesan, VP of Product Management at Sentient Energy.

“With the new multi-position UM3+, operators can monitor more lines from a single integrated sensor that detects, captures, analyses and alerts them about faults and non-fault disturbances. This increased capacity saves time, expense and adds efficiency to managing large networks of underground lines.”

The UM3+ is capable of cellular communication via most major cellular carriers. The solution also supports RF mesh network, or hybrid communications extending the reach of distribution line monitoring to include remote or rural areas.