DOE gives On-Ramp Wireless a Grant to Improve Distribution Grid

  • November 30, 2010
  • News
November 30, 2010 – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded On-Ramp Wireless a grant to contribute to the improvement of the nation’s distribution grid. The grant will enable On-Ramp to utilize its Ultra-Link Processing (ULP) wireless communication system to develop and demonstrate the first wireless grid sensor and faulted circuit indicator capable of monitoring underground and other hard-to-reach distribution circuit locations from a fixed installed network. On-Ramp will conduct the project on in partnership with two western utilities.Large utilities are challenged with managing tens of thousands of distribution grid sensors, above and below ground, in a given service area. This often means the sensors end up being largely unmonitored until a fault event occurs, usually in an emergency situation. A system that is capable of reliably and securely reaching into the below ground sensors would significantly reduce time to isolate, repair and restore service to consumers. Utilizing its technology, On-Ramp will develop and demonstrate the first wireless system to address this ability using the DOE grant. On-Ramp successfully demonstrated the ability to connect wireless sensors throughout the distribution grid in a field test with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Inc. (SEL) this July. In the test, Wireless Sensors for Overhead Lines (WSO) from SEL were combined with On-Ramp’s fully integrated ULP system to monitor and report real-time fault indication and condition data. This enabled a comprehensive view of the distribution grid performance, results of which can be used not only for rapid and precise fault location, but also for predictive maintenance, grid automation, long-term grid efficiency and capital planning. “This project demonstrates the traction On-Ramp is having with large utilities, many of which have been looking for a wireless system to effectively connect underground sensors,” said Joaquin Silva, president and CEO of On-Ramp. “We are also pleased to continue building on the successful partnership between On-Ramp and SEL.” Including On-Ramp, the DOE announced five grants last week in an effort to modernize the electric grid. About On-Ramp WirelessOn-Ramp Wireless has developed 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, water efficiency, industrial sensing, and location tracking. Operating in un-licensed spectrum, our signal processing innovation finds weak signals even in high noise environments, yielding extreme coverage, immunity to high interference, and significantly lowers cost. Learn More

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