Winners, selected by Smart Grid News and its readers, were identified as the most innovative and smart emerging companies in the smart grid industry.
“Countless utilities are singing Tollgrade’s praises,” reported Smart Grid News in its announcement of the award, adding that “Tollgrade was, by far, endorsed by the most electric utilities and one of our favorites in this year's Smart Grid Companies to Watch.”The Top 15 Companies to Watch honored are a melting pot of industry technology from the Internet of Things, energy storage and distributed energy resources, the connected home and home and building energy management, and more. innovative and smart emerging companies in the smart grid industry.
Countless Praises for Tollgrade’s LightHouse® distribution monitoring platform.
Countless utilities are singing Tollgrade’s praises for its smart grid sensor technology and the LightHouse distribution monitoring platform:
Pacific Gas and Electric's (PG&E)'s director of Emerging Grid Technologies, Jim Meadows explained to Smart Grid News that “Tollgrade LightHouse MV Sensors are battery-free, allow low maintenance costs and capabilities to support integration of distributed generation, and more accurate fault classification and location identification.”
Veridian Corporation, one of Ontario's largest electricity distribution companies, also commented that it had been using traditional methods for identifying fault locations in its distribution systems such as, fault current indicators (FCI), line patrolling by crew, re-fusing and manually opening and reclosing circuit sections, but such methods are time consuming, expensive, and potentially dangerous.
Falguni Shah, Veridian manager of Distribution Automation, commented, "We grew frustrated with traditional methods that often led to longer outage times and exposed distribution system equipment to fault current multiple times until the fault could be located."
In 2013, Veridian turned to Tollgrade's LightHouse platform because it was regarded as a safe, maintenance-free solution that could reduce operations and maintenance expenses plaguing traditional fault detection methods, while reducing the company's need to rely on line patrols and allowing them to respond to outages and get the power back on faster.
Manitoba Hydro cites similar reasons for choosing Tollgrade's platform for its grid modernization efforts. "Tollgrade is the only sensing solution to deliver grid visibility down to three amps through inductively powered sensors that eliminate the maintenance costs required to support battery powered alternatives," said Graham Eason, CET distribution performance coordinator of Distribution Engineering Services, Distribution Engineering & Construction. He continued: "Unlike first-generation fault indicators, the LightHouse platform combines its highly accurate sensor technology with an analytics software package to classify grid conditions and assess the health of the network. This proved to be a very successful combination at Manitoba Hydro as we look to gain more visibility into our distribution grid."
Orange & Rockland, a ConEdison Inc. company, started working with Tollgrade in 2014 and has since expanded its sensor deployment to areas in their network where power outages are a problem. "Using Tollgrade's LightHouse MV Sensors, the utility knows about outages 10 to 15 minutes before the first person in its service territory calls to report the outage," Frank Peverly, vice president of Operations for Orange & Rockland Utilities,said.
He continued: "Having this solution has not only helped us get the lights back on in bad weather, we've also been able to respond proactively to prevent outages on our network because the system is set up such that when a sensor notices a fault, a text message is sent to the utilities' engineers to determine an immediate, and best, course of action.”
NV Energy, Ron Kirker, senior engineer of Distribution Planning, also commented, "Tollgrade’s LightHouse platform is a very affordable way to get the distribution planning information we need from across our network, in real-time. The ability to program high current alarms means we do not have to constantly monitor the system. Instead, we are alerted when we need to investigate a problem. The LightHouse software allows us to pre-configure alarming and alerts so we can customize the solution to our unique needs. Using sensors and software in this way is a very innovative approach. It is an affordable way for us to solve problems with technology that have not been readily available."
The LightHouse Distribution Platform
Our LightHouse distribution monitoring platform consists of inductively powered Medium Voltage (MV) sensors and Predictive Grid® Analytics software that provides real-time visibility into feeders and laterals down to 3 amps to detect faults, measure voltage to within 0.5% accuracy and detect load imbalance across all three phases of the distribution network. With this turn-key solution, utilities gain immediate visibility and better situational awareness into the operational status of the distribution grid to make the critical planning decisions that will significantly improve reliability.
For more information on how Tollgrade is helping utilities prevent outages, download the Predictive Grid Quarterly Report which is the first industry benchmark available to educate utilities and policy makers on the importance of taking proactive measures to prevent outages with this advanced type of sensor technology.
For a complete list of the Top 15 Smart Grid Companies to Watch’ in 2015 winners, visit the SmartGridNews.com website.
A special thank you to Smart Grid News for recognizing Tollgrade!