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Sentient Energy Expands Intelligent Analytics to Distribution Grid

By Ken Briodagh February 01, 2017

Sentient Energy, a provider of advanced grid monitoring and analytics solutions to electric utilities for safe and reliable power delivery, has announced recently its new Sentient ZM1 zero amperage grid monitor for deployment on cellular and mesh networks.

The ZM1, Sentient said in the announcement, is the world’s first advanced line monitor that can be deployed on distribution lines even where no or very-low amperage is available to power monitoring devices, including laterals, feeder tie points and rural distribution circuits. The new line sensor allows utilities to expand fault detection, disturbance oscillography and intelligent analytics to the entire distribution grid, resulting in increased safety and significant improvements in System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI) and System Average Interruption Frequency Index (SAIFI).

“This is a major industry breakthrough for distribution grid reliability,” said Jim Keener, CEO, Sentient Energy. “With our MM3 and ZM1 monitors, Utilities will now be able to cost-effectively detect and identify anomalies in any grid location that could cause service disruptions before they occur, or pinpoint the cause of an outage for fast service restoration.”

The ZM1 communicates via either 3G/4G cellular networks, Silver Spring Networks or Landis+Gyr mesh communications. No additional pole mounted equipment is required to connect with the line monitors. The company said it will operate maintenance-free for 10 years or more on batteries, which are field replaceable, and can be desposed of via standard recycling. The Sentient ZM1 is an excellent complement to single-phase reclosers,  assessing their effectiveness and identifying the reclosure cause. the ZM1 records and communicates both the event leading to the reclosure and the operation itself, closing the information gap presented by today’s non-communicating reclosures.

This kind of Smart Grid monitoring is critical to the success of developing Smart City infrastructures. 



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