Field Test Demonstrates Ability to Connect Wireless Sensors Throughout Grid at Major Utility

Field test demonstrates how wireless sensors, coupled with wireless communications, significantly reduce the time needed to isolate, repair, and restore service to a utility’s electric power customers.
By: Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.
Aug. 18, 2010 - PRLog -- Lake Zurich, IL — August 2010 — Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) and On-Ramp Wireless announced successful communication of SEL wireless sensors with an On-Ramp wireless communication system during a western United States utility field test. The field test demonstrated how wireless sensors, coupled with wireless communications, significantly reduce the time needed to isolate, repair, and restore service to a utility’s electric power customers.

For the field test, SEL’s Wireless Sensors for Overhead Lines (SEL-WSO) were installed on a fully-integrated On-Ramp Ultra-Link Processing™ (ULP) wireless communication system. The SEL wireless sensors, located three to eight miles from the wireless system’s access points, successfully communicated 100% of the status and event reports that the wireless sensors generated. The reports provide a comprehensive view of the utility’s distribution grid performance, including real-time fault indication and condition data, average hourly load, and momentary event counters at varying intervals. The resulting data can be used for rapid and precise fault location as well as for predictive maintenance, grid automation, long-term grid efficiency, and capital planning.

“The WSO is a distribution automation sensor that stores load and temperature data as it monitors the distribution line for loss of voltage, loss of current, and faults,” according to Daniel F. Clifford, general manager of the SEL Fault Indicator and Sensor Division. “This sensor transmits reports, in this case in conjunction with On-Ramp’s ULP system, helping utility personnel locate faults more quickly and easily.”

The test was conducted over a four-week period and spanned approximately 200 square miles that included mountainous terrain. “The completion of this field test, with a leading utility in the Smart Grid area, and in a challenging terrain with mountains and valleys and high interference environment, showcases our coverage and networking system costs advantages and reliability,” said Joaquin Silva, president and CEO of On-Ramp. “With a trusted partner and industry leader like SEL, we have the tools to bring a new level of automation to the distribution grid, providing long-term benefits for utilities across the country and beyond.”

About On-Ramp Wireless
On-Ramp Wireless is a provider of the first wireless system purpose-built to efficiently connect billions of hard-to-reach devices in metro scale and other challenging environments. On-Ramp’s field-proven Ultra-Link Processing system enables low-power monitoring and control applications within Smart Grid, industrial sensing, and location tracking. Operating in unlicensed spectrum, our signal processing innovation finds weak signals even in high noise environments, yielding extreme coverage, immunity to high interference, and significantly lowers cost. For more information, visit

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About Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc.:
SEL serves the power industry worldwide through the design, manufacture, supply, and support of products and services for power system protection, monitoring, control, automation, and metering. SEL offers unmatched local technical support, a worldwide, ten-year product warranty, and a commitment to making electric power safer, more reliable, and more economical. For more information, visit
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Tags:Wireless Sensors, Wireless Communications, Fault Location, Predictive Maintenance, Grid Automation, Grid Efficiency
Industry:Energy, Engineering, Electronics
Location:Pullman - Washington - United States
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Page Updated Last on: Aug 18, 2010

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