Electric co-ops use a variety of monitoring and automation technologies that improve power reliability, shorten outage times and reduce labor time for crews. Here are four technologies used to improve reliability.
Power sensors typically clamp on or connect to the power line and provide near real-time reporting on power, voltage, current and more – all of which helps to provide more reliable energy to consumer-members.
Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) provides real-time data to the co-op. In addition to meter reading, this data helps us detect faults and other potential problems on the electrical system, resulting in increased power reliability for consumer-members.
A recloser acts like a circuit breaker for power
lines. When a problem occurs, the recloser temporarily shuts off power. If the problem is temporary, the recloser restores power. (This is why you sometimes see
the power blink.) If the problem persists, the recloser will shut off power until a crew can make repairs. The
recloser’s antenna provides wireless, real-time data back to the co-op.
Drones may be used to inspect the power lines. Drones can provide infrared evaluation to locate hot spots on power lines and vegetation assessment to locate trees and other vegetation that can cause outages.