On-Ramp Wireless deploys underground distribution automation pilot

DOE-funded pilot programs at San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison demonstrate how On-Ramp's wireless solution can securely and reliably monitor the hardest to reach utility assets to significantly improve grid reliability.

San Diego—On-Ramp Wireless, developer of wireless solutions for energy automation, has announced the results of its U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-funded field trials at San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE). The DOE awarded On-Ramp Wireless and its project team members a $2.1M project to integrate and demonstrate its award-winning wireless network solution for below-ground distribution automation, including outage detection and distribution transformer monitoring. The demonstrated performance results prove that On-Ramp’s solution exceeds DOE’s stated 2016 Smart Grid Performance Target to improve System Average Interruption Duration Index (SAIDI), an important metric of electric grid reliability, by greater than 10 percent.

The goal of the project was to leverage wireless network automation and information technology to improve electric grid reliability, a critical national need. With a cellular-like network that was purpose-built for utility automation, On-Ramp’s solution can service both powered and battery-operated sensors in below ground locations of the utility environment and across disparate geographies. The ability to support multiple applications like electric grid reliability, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and critical infrastructure monitoring enables the solution to deliver Smart Grid benefits at a total cost of ownership significantly lower than existing technologies.

“The support of the DOE was critical to bringing together industry leading wireless and sensor companies to deliver a complete end-to-end solution,” said Joaquin Silva, president and CEO of On-Ramp. “We are thrilled that our solution has demonstrated the ability to improve distribution grid performance and provide substantial cost savings which has a substantial utility and societal benefit. We look forward to implementing the solution with our utility customers and partners worldwide.”

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