Pepco taps CURRENT for distribution grid modernization project


CURRENT, a leading global innovator of utility grid infrastructure and software solutions, announced that Potomac Electric Power Company (Pepco) has selected CURRENT's new underground residential development (URD) fault detection and grid monitoring system for a distribution grid reliability and modernization project in the Washington, DC area. Pepco is installing CURRENT's secure URD transformer and feeder sensors and is using the system to detect and communicate the location of underground cable faults and collect condition assessment information on cables in which the system is installed. The project is part of a series of initiatives that Pepco plans to use to modernize its distribution grid. 

"Pepco has outlined a comprehensive plan and is committed to grid modernization and reliability improvements," said Karen Lefkowitz, VP of Business Transformation, Pepco. "CURRENT's innovative sensing solution is one of several key grid monitoring technologies that we are implementing that will have a positive impact on reliability for our customers. The DOE Smart Grid Investment Grants have given us the opportunity to speed up implementation of several technologies, including CURRENT's fault detection system." 

CURRENT is also announcing the availability of a family of Intelligent Distribution Sensors (IDS) that improve grid efficiency, reliability, and power quality delivered within the network. These sensors are the first in the market to incorporate DNP3 messaging with secure authentication, scalability, integrated communications, and analytic algorithms custom tailored to specific applications in which the products are being used. Included in this comprehensive product portfolio are: 

IDS 1000 - Designed for Volt/VAR grid efficiency applications, the IDS 1000 provides clear visibility to voltage levels throughout a network and can enable the implementation of Integrated Volt/VAR Control (IVVC), so utilities can meet voltage threshold requirements and save energy. 

IDS 2000 - By measuring and analyzing voltage and current, the IDS 2000 provides real-time, Connected Intelligence™. Utilities gain valuable insight into the performance of their networks and can proactively improve efficiency and reliability of the distribution grid and support the integration of distributed renewable and electric vehicles. 

IDS 3000 - Provides the industry's first fully remote underground (URD) fault location detection and transformer monitoring system capable of pinpointing segment locations for URD faults. In addition, the IDS 3000 can be used to identify degraded cables, monitor primary current, and incorporates low voltage monitoring capabilities for voltage threshold, transient voltages, secondary neutral failures, and outage and restoration detection. 

IDS 4000 - Provides real-time remote fault detection and location for overhead and underground distribution networks. It reports ground faults, sensitive earth faults, and logs sub-cycle transient events. The IDS 4000 provides full monitoring and reporting of feeder voltage, current and power conditions, with no minimum operating current, and requires no calibration. 

IDS 5000 - Designed for critical asset power quality (PQ) monitoring applications, the IDS 5000 is the industry's first remotely manageable and accessible power quality analyzer. It provides the same core functionality as some of the industry's most advanced power quality data loggers, with the ability to fully access data, program, and receive alarms on all PQ parameters from the sensor remotely. 

All of CURRENT's IDS products support the ability to be accessed via their secure DNP3 interfaces from any compatible SCADA or third-party applications, or through CURRENT's OpenGrid® data visualization and reporting software. In addition, all the sensors support fully integrated communications capabilities that can be used within Verizon, AT&T, or WiMAX networks. The sensors can also communicate over a third-party communications system such as wireless mesh or private radio via a simple Ethernet connection. 

"Utilities in North America are transitioning their focus from the deployment of smart meters driven by stimulus funding, back to the basics of improving the distribution reliability of aging infrastructures with sensing solutions that provide visibility into grid operations," said CURRENT CEO and President Tom Willie. "CURRENT is very pleased to showcase its technologies with a customer like Pepco who is committed to improving reliability in their network." 

CURRENT will be exhibiting its new distribution sensors with S&C Electric's grid optimization software at DistribuTECH (Booth #1601) in San Antonio, Texas, January 24-26.

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