COLUMBUS, OH--(Marketwired - Apr 13, 2017) - For electric utilities, the season of lightning strikes, high winds, tornados, and major storms has begun. This follows the freeze/thaw cycles of winter in many regions. Exacter, Inc. of Columbus, OH is offering a variety of services to help utilities minimize power outages, make the overhead grid more resilient to weather effects, and recover from storm damage in a more-timely manner.
The Exacter Grid Resilience and Storm Recovery Strategy focuses on securing the lightning arrester protection system and providing field intelligence analytics on the most critical points on the grid emitting "at risk" failure signatures.
"If utilities can identify and repair failed and deteriorated surge arresters, and locate the most strategically vulnerable points of risk on the grid, they will significantly minimize storm damage and make a more rapid recovery," states Geoffrey Bibo, President of Exacter, Inc., a grid health assessment and analytics company from Columbus, OH. "Our patented grid health assessments utilize analytics that show utilities strategic locations exhibiting weakened conditions that are especially vulnerable to high winds and storm damage."
According to a department of energy study, 20% of all outages (372,000 annually in US) are caused by failed lightning arresters and failing fused cutouts. In southeast U.S. states like Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana, 40-50% of all the failed equipment Exacter field assessments find are lightning arresters and cutouts. "When a lightning arrester fails, it is putting numerous other components at risk from a lightning strike or flashover that cause an outage," continued Bibo. "Assuring all arresters are in working condition will minimize the impact of major weather events in the spring as well as year round."
There are two other key components to Exacter's Grid Resiliency and Storm Recovery strategy. The first is identifying equipment that is deteriorated, with loose wiring, or exhibiting failure signatures of arcing or leaking. These locations are the most vulnerable to high winds and storms. "Exacter pinpoints those vulnerable at-risk conditions on the grid, providing a GPS location, pole number, and photograph of the identified component," continued Bibo. "But that's not all; in addition to finding the at risk condition, we integrate our findings with GIS data and are able to determine how many customers would be impacted should an outage occur at each location we have found. This enables the utility to prioritize preventive maintenance to the locations with high customer impact rather than less significant circuits. This contributes to fewer customers being affected by the weather event and a more rapid response."
Finally, by performing a health assessment prior to storm season, should a major event pass through the system, the utility has a "benchmark" of the condition of the grid pre-storm. This will enable accurate damage assessment and perhaps additional opportunities for additional local, state, or national support. A post storm assessment can help find collateral damage and evaluate if all the repairs were completed satisfactorily.
Exacter health assessments can be completed in approximately one month. Typical surveys range from 300 to 5,000 miles of overhead circuit.
EXACTER®, Inc. is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) company that focuses on electric utilities worldwide. Exacter's multiple patents and trade secret algorithms create a platform technology for providing unique visibility into grid health, identifying areas of safety and system risk, and informing asset management and intelligence-based reliability initiatives.