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Trialling a wireless temperature and humidity sensor for electricity substations

18 December 2018

The University of Strathclyde Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) is a research, demonstration and deployment centre for emerging electrical power system technologies and accelerating smart grid implementations.

Founded by government, industrial and academic partners, the facility provides a realistic electrical network test system, and plays a leading role in the development of a smart electricity grid and the acceleration of low carbon technology. 

To realise the transformation towards a smart grid, they have introduced a next generation communications platform which makes use of sensor technologies, and addresses the challenges of security, resilience and efficiency in electricity supply. Their work includes modelling of electricity grids and naval ship power systems, as well as testing new technology with a view to it reaching commercial deployment.

As part of this brief, the way in which temperature and humidity is measured inside a primary substation was looked at. Dr Edward Corr, Asset Management Theme Lead, explains: “Substation temperature and humidity levels can affect the lifetime and performance of utility assets. The obtained data could be used to assess the potential threats to asset health for a range of equipment and building designs, in particular their vulnerability to environmental conditions.”

Currently, the power utility companies use sensors which require a technician to visit the site to collect data, with associated cost and scheduling implications. Dr Kinan Ghanem, Communications and Systems Integration Theme Lead, Power Networks Demonstration Centre, University of Strathclyde, decided to test, compare and validate temperature and humidity sensors that use various wireless communication technologies, to show how much easier they made collecting this data. Kinan explains, “I was searching for relevant Wi-Fi products that could be mains or battery powered, that would monitor temperature and humidity data remotely, and had threshold alarm functionality. The Lascar EL-MOTE-TH ticked all of those boxes.”

Read the full article in the January issue of DPA

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