Grid Talk: Shedding Light on the Grid

There are actually quite a few benefits to the grid side of the operations at the utility from lighting control. One Midwest utility I'm aware of is using lighting control as a bellwether meter on the circuit—monitoring circuit conditions. And there are a couple of things they're looking for. One is they're using the lighting control to determine and pick out sags and swells—high and low voltages so they can maintain better voltage support.

The other is they're using lighting control to detect momentaries, which are brief outages typically caused by tree limbs. Where they see a lot of momentaries, it can be captured with a timestamp and a location. And now they know they have a vegetation management problem and can send tree crews out to clear the trees that are causing the momentaries. And they can scatter these throughout the territory and thus address their circuit issues.

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