SOURCE: Tollgrade Communications

January 28, 2014 07:00 ET

Tollgrade Launches New Substation Monitoring Application to Protect a Utility's Most Critical Assets

With Transformer Overload and Phase Imbalance Reports, Tollgrade Enables Affordable Substation Monitoring in Minutes, Not Days

SAN ANTONIO, TX--(Marketwired - Jan 28, 2014) - DistribuTECH -- Tollgrade Communications, Inc., the industry leader in redefining the global standard for reliability at the world's largest electric utilities and telecommunications providers, announced today their new Substation Monitoring application as a cost-effective way to avoid some of the leading causes of preventable transformer failures. The application is an addition to LightHouse®, Tollgrade's award-winning fault-detection and distribution monitoring platform. With the addition of substation monitoring, the platform enables utilities to have much greater visibility and reliability without installing costly backhaul communications like fiber optic lines. Tollgrade's LightHouse sensors have integrated communications, are hot stick deployable, and only take a few minutes to install. There is no need to roll fiber, de-energize substations or re-wire. Configurable alarms and reports allow utilities to know when transformers are being stressed by overloading or are in danger of aging prematurely due to unbalanced load.

In a separate release today, the company announced Manitoba Hydro selected the Tollgrade LightHouse platform to provide visibility at their unmonitored substations. The turn-key solution is being demonstrated in the Tollgrade booth #3461 at the DistribuTECH® 2014 conference in San Antonio, January 28-30.

"One of the most challenging tasks a utility faces is having actionable visibility in their distribution network, particularly as their assets like substation transformers age and face the stress of unforeseen conditions, demands or extreme weather," said Erik Christian, Vice President Smart Grid at Tollgrade Communications. "Most utilities are forced to leave some percentage of their substations unmonitored because the costs of outfitting them with new equipment and communications have been prohibitive. Now, with LightHouse, it is possible to hang a few Smart Grid line sensors with integrated wireless communications at a substation in a matter of minutes and have immediate visibility that can help avoid an outage or failure."

The cost of replacing substation transformers after they fail unexpectedly in the field is dramatically more expensive than repairing the asset. To avoid this preventable situation, LightHouse includes configurable overload reports and alarms that can be customized to the transformer manufacturer's nameplate rating. These alarms can also be prioritized by severity and events are captured in a dashboard for future analysis. The solution also reports when phases are out of balance, accelerating the aging process. Additionally, peak load reporting allows utilities to get real-time data, eliminating the costly expense of sending crews out in the summer and winter to manually collect this data.

With sensors deployed at the substation, utilities can take also advantage of LightHouse's industry-leading fault detection capabilities to know when outages occur and where to send crews for faster power restoration. Information flows directly and transparently into a utility's existing SCADA, Historian or Distribution Management System (DMS). For utilities that do not have these systems, LightHouse can be installed in the utility data center or hosted as a service. This combined benefit of substation monitoring with fault detection is especially valuable in rural environments where crews have long drive times. By eliminating truck rolls and crew time spent in the field, LightHouse can make a huge financial impact, removing operational costs and allowing utilities to deliver safe, affordable and reliable energy.

Demonstrations at DistribuTECH 2014
Tollgrade will preview their Substation Monitoring application at their booth #3461.

Pricing and Availability
The LightHouse platform with Substation Monitoring will be available March 31, 2014. For more information or to schedule a demo, please contact

About Tollgrade
With more than 200 million lines under test, millions of utility outage minutes avoided annually and 25 years of experience successfully locating faults at the world's largest electric utility companies and telecommunication service providers, Tollgrade is redefining the global standard for reliability. Our award-winning fault detection hardware and predictive analytics software is deployed on four continents to help operators avoid network outages and reduce customer downtime. Tollgrade has been recognized as one of the Top 13 Smart Grid Companies to Watch in 2013 by SmartGrid News, received the Fierce Energy award for "Substation Automation and Distribution Automation" and a Best Practice Award from Frost + Sullivan. In 2013, the company was named the Smart Grid Sensor market share leader by IHS Research, and a Platt's Global Energy Awards finalist. Learn more by visiting

Contact Information

  • For more information, contact:
    Cathy Clarke
    CNC Associates
    +1 617-527-2089 (mobile)

    Anne-Laure Leroyer
    Marketing Communication Manager
    Tollgrade Communications, Inc.
    +1 202-701-0083 (mobile)