Transmission Power Grid Line Failures Are Being Predicted by Exacter Technology
COLUMBUS, OH - (NewMediaWire) - March 23, 2016 - Exacter Inc. offers a unique solution for detecting and locating points on the overhead transmission system that are exhibiting conditions that indicate risk of failure. An Exacter assessment unit is mounted on a helicopter, plane, or drone during scheduled line flyovers. As the aircraft flies the lines, Exacter's patented technology identifies unseen arcing, leaking, and tracking on insulators, splices, or other transmission structure components. These emissions are recorded and mapped using GPS technology. After the survey, maps and location points can be provided showing the areas of concern where problematic conditions exist. Exacter field teams can then be dispatched to pinpoint the specific component on the structure causing the emissions.
"We have been doing aerial assessments of transmission lines since 2008 on-board various LIDAR, mapping, or visual inspection company aircraft," states John Lauletta, Exacter CEO. "The information we provide has been very helpful to utilities for not only providing a general health assessment of their overhead assets, but giving them actionable intelligence for making repairs before a failure interrupts."
Exacter data and maps can be overlaid with utility GIS data to determine the criticality of a problem location. Based on the various system factors, the utility determines whether the issue requires immediate replacement or further investigation. The Exacter assessment data can be stored and used to benchmark, track and compare system health over a period of years.
"Utilities do an excellent job with visual inspections and LIDAR," states Exacter President, Geoffrey Bibo. "What Exacter will find are a lot of the unseen or undetectable conditions that are precursors to failure. It's valuable information that helps utilities get ahead of potential problems. We find the contaminated equipment other inspection methods can't."
According to Dr. Stephen Sebo, Professor Emeritus of The Ohio State University High Voltage Laboratory (who has done extensive research on overhead equipment failure), arcing, leaking, and tracking conditions are the most significant indicators that a component is deteriorating and moving towards failure.
Recently, Exacter surveyed a significant amount of transmission line in a very remote location in the western US. The aerial assessments identified 91 structures where problematic conditions were located. The utility sent the Exacter Field Locating Team in to do high definition structural analysis of the findings. 90 structures were confirmed to have genuine arcing, or leaking equipment. The final report to the utility included mapping, GIS data, structure ID, and a photograph of the problematic equipment. During this particular project, the Exacter team climbed two small mountains and forded a 3 foot river to reach the identified structure for inspection.
"At the end of the day, we provide predictive data to the utility that can be obtained in no other way," concluded Bibo. "It's insightful information that allows them to make decisions for avoiding outages, equipment failures, reducing risk, and proactively managing transmission system reliability."
Exacter, Inc. is a provider of predictive technology and grid health inspection services to the electric utility industry. Data gathered through field surveys provide valuable management analytics for the development of a variety of reliability strategies. Exacter field analytics and intelligence is also being used for the quality assurance of Smart Grid systems, AMR systems, and critical measurement of transmission lines.