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.
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.
Metrycom deployed a pilot installation of its MetrySense5000 system on the distribution network of a large Brazilian electricity supplier, a Brazilian state the size of Germany. The pilot was completed successfully and proved the capability of detecting faults in rural areas on very long power lines. 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 MetryView display at the Utilities control rooms via Internet Protocol, hundreds of kilometers away from the power monitored. The map in the picture below shows the power-line, and the location of a pole, where a fault has been artificially created and identified by the MetrySense system in real time.
Following the success of the trial, an additional trial deployment was approved by the board of the company and will be installed in the second half of 2014.