Brazil

When a fault occurs, a technician needs to travel over very long distances for several days to identify the cause and location of the fault. Therefore cost-effective and reliable fault detection is a strategic objective for many power utilities in this country.

The Challenge

Brazil is a huge country possessing extensive rural areas where local power utilities supply electrical power over distances of hundreds of kilometers to a relatively small number of customers at the end of each line. When a fault occurs, a technician needs to travel over very long distances for several days to identify the cause and location of the fault, often due to a broken line, wire on the ground, faulty isolator and similar defects. This operation is time consuming, expensive, and requires trial-and-error techniques. The local power utilities wish to have an inexpensive system that can be easily and cost-effectively installed over hundreds of kilometers of transmission and distribution lines for the purpose of monitoring for faults on the lines, identifying them as they occur (or even as they evolve) and responding rapidly by directing technicians with pinpoint accuracy to the line segment that needs repair.

The Solution

Metrycom and a leading power utilities in Brazil have cooperated in projects of deployment of  MetrySense-5000 system in large rural feeders in Brazil.  The mesh radio network covers large areas with diameter up to 100km per feeder, and capable of detecting the location of blown fuses and also high impedance faults to ground. The system was deployed in 3 phase networks and also in SWER (Single Wire Earth Return) grid.  The system was installed quickly by the local technicians of the Brazilian utility with very little training; it automatically created its own communication network using the low-power proprietary radio system, and connected to a display at the Utilities control rooms.