Electrical grid / transformer testing: GE announced a historic deal that will help Georgia Power, a subsidiary of Southern Company, deliver more reliable power to its 2.4 million customers across the state. With more than 2,000 transformers across its electrical grid, Georgia Power wanted to better understand the condition of its transformer fleet to help avoid unexpected failures and gain greater insight into the overall health of its fleet.
Under the agreement, GE will deliver a complete transformer monitoring solution that will improve the reliability and efficiency of Georgia Power’s electrical grid infrastructure by giving it real-time data on the condition of each transformer on the grid.
“Increasing reliability through the application of advanced technologies is a focus for us every day,” said Danny Lindsey, vice president of transmission for Georgia Power. “Georgia Power has one of the smartest electrical grids in the country that helps us minimize interruptions in service to our customers during day-to-day operations and in severe circumstances including storms. The new project with GE is the latest way we’re working to proactively monitor our system to ensure we’re addressing any potential issues before they become a threat to our reliability.”
By implementing GE’s Monitoring and Diagnostics (M&D) solution, Georgia Power will be able to remotely monitor the performance of its transformers and proactively detect and diagnose issues early to help avoid unplanned transformer failures that could lead to costly outages on the grid.
Using GE’s Hydran M2 and Kelman Transfix dissolved gas transformer monitors, Georgia Power will be able to cost effectively understand the health of any monitored transformer and take action on developing issues before a failure occurs. In addition to this insight about individual transformer condition, GE’s Perception Fleet Transformer Management software will allow Georgia Power to gain real-time knowledge on the health of its entire transformer fleet, facilitating better understanding of its total budget requirements to maintain and build a strong fleet, focusing on capital expenditures and in turn reducing operating expenses.
“Global grid operators have long depended on physical transformer inspections to understand the condition of their transformer fleet,” said Graham McGuigan, senior product manager, M&D for GE’s Digital Energy business. “Today’s technology advancements allow grid operators to leverage real-time data on the operation of each transformer and make quicker decisions to mitigate potential issues caused by storms, malfunctions or aging equipment. Using GE’s transformer fleet management solutions, operators can now remotely view the overall risks to their transformer fleet, allowing them to prioritize their capital expenditures and operations and maintenance investments to potentially avoid costly, unplanned outages.”
GE and Georgia Power will start implementing this transformer fleet monitoring solution in late 2014, with a complete roll out planned for the end of 2016.
GE’s Digital Energy business is a global leader in protection and control, communications, power sensing and power quality solutions. Its products and services increase the reliability of electrical power networks and critical equipment for utility, industrial and large commercial customers. From protecting and optimizing assets such as generators, transmission lines and motors, to ensuring secure wireless data transmission and providing uninterruptible power, GE’s Digital Energy business delivers industry-leading technologies to solve the unique challenges of each customer.