Wireless I/O Solution for Automated Monitoring and Control of Circuit Breakers in the Smart Grid
Circuit breakers serve critical functions in both the protection system and the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system used for power switching
FreeWave Technologies announced its wireless I/O radios are enabling real-time automated monitoring and control of circuit breaker technology in Smart Grid systems. FreeWave Technologies is the only wireless data radio provider with expandable I/O devices that offer universally configurable I/O channels for analog input, analog output, digital input, digital output and sensor power, making them ideal for Smart Grid applications, among others.
"We are finding new exciting uses for our wireless I/O radios across multiple industries," explained Ashish Sharma, chief marketing officer of FreeWave Technologies. "For example, utility operators and technicians at electric power plants can identify the exact circuit breaker that tripped even before the first customer complaint reaches the office, helping them prevent outages before they have a widespread impact. Utilities aiming to improve overall customer satisfaction and reduce fines imposed by regulators (for failing to deliver electric power) can avert them from even happening by deploying FreeWave's I/O solutions for support."
Circuit breakers disconnect separate sections of a distribution grid so that an overload condition on one section of a power grid can be isolated. By proper planning and spacing of circuit breakers, utilities can isolate fault conditions to small sections of the grid and reduce the number of customers exposed to possible outages or spotty service. Utilities can further reduce costs of regulatory fines by resolving the fault and restoring service quickly.
In the past, field technicians would have to manually inspect each circuit breaker in the area of a reported power outage and identify the tripped breaker. Now, instead of spending the time and manpower necessary to manually respond to power outage issues, utilities can actively mitigate customer dissatisfaction and regulatory fines through proactive, automated monitoring with FreeWave's wireless I/O radios and expansion modules. The expansion modules have discrete inputs used to monitor breaker status and condition and discrete outputs used to control the breaker itself. This functionality provides utilities with automated control and monitoring of one of the most critical systems in the entire power grid and points the field technicians straight to the problem, saving both time and money.
"Our radios have been relied on in some of the harshest environments and in the most demanding applications on earth," continued Sharma. "Since electric utilities are graded on their reliability, the adoption of wireless I/O and the flexibility it offers represents one of the simplest and most straightforward ways to ensure utility performance and uptime and ultimate customer satisfaction."
For more information about FreeWave's line of I/O wireless data radios, please visit ( http://www.freewave.com/PRODUCTS/ALLPRODUCTS/IOExpansion.aspx ).
Posted by Janine E. Mooney, Editor
April 24, 2012