LightHouse smart grid sensor software drives industry one step closer to predictive grid analytics


Edward H. Kennedy,
President and CEO,
Reston, VA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 26, 2013 – The latest version of the LightHouse Sensor Management System (SMS) software with predictive grid analytics has been introduced by analytics provider Tollgrade Communications Inc.

The software works with the company’s inductively powered medium voltage smart grid sensors that provide visibility throughout the distribution network.

By providing four layers of analytical processing, the software accurately detects and classifies faults that cause outages in real time, for example permanent faults on main feeders and blown fuses on laterals. This enables utilities to pinpoint the outage location and perform restoration faster because they know more about the fault and what equipment is required to repair it. For example, in two very large deployments in North America, the solution is detecting blown fuses on laterals 20 to 30 minutes before customers call to report the outage. All events are linked to map-view displays that make it easy for utilities to pinpoint the locations of problems for quick response and resolution.  

“We need a paradigm shift in the way we think about the grid to successfully improve reliability,” said Edward H. Kennedy, president and CEO of Tollgrade Communications. “By having a library of fault events, outage detection and load planning data all in one software package, utilities can have the intelligence they need to restore outages faster today, and one day predict future problems before they cause outages on the distribution network.”

Tollgrade’s Lighthouse inductively powered medium voltage sensors are deployed on the MV grid at the substation and throughout the circuit to monitor real time grid conditions and measure fault current. When fault current is detected, waveforms of the event are captured along with background information (e.g. temperature, GPS location, time) and communicated over a wireless or cellular network back to the LightHouse SMS software.

The LightHouse SMS software, from the four layers of analysis on the information, classifies faults and disturbances that do not cause immediate outages in an effort to build intelligence about what might cause a power failure in the future. For example, incidents like momentaries or line disturbances are categorized and can be filtered to show trends across a circuit or during certain times of the year.

This latest version of the LightHouse SMS software is available for purchase at the end of July, 2013.