GridKey, a monitoring system created by Sentec and SELEX Galileo, helps network operators drive operational efficiencies. However, physically fitting sensors to all feeder cables in substations is challenging because of inaccessible and crowded locations. The TSB funding enables Sentec and SELEX Galileo to develop a new sensor suitable for the most challenging locations.
Sentec chief executive officer Mark England explains, “There are over 500,000 LV substations in the UK, of which only a small percentage are [sic] currently monitored. The existing GridKey solution provides a great tool to provide accurate energy monitoring of the LV network in the majority of cases. The funding will allow us to develop a slimmer sensor, allowing access to more challenging locations, which will unlock a complete LV substation monitoring solution. This will be retrofitable with minimum disruption to the network and aims to provide permanent, cost effective and highly accurate monitoring of 100 percent of feeder cables.”
Development work is scheduled to start soon and the project is expected to be completed in April 2013. Sentec reports “GridKey is already being shipped to a number of UK DNOs for trials and the new sensor range will increase its appeal for this market and the rest of Europe, which is a potential opportunity estimated at nearly $400 million.”
Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, adds: “If we are to truly move towards a more sustainable energy system, then we must take a systems approach where the business opportunity will be to integrate security, resilience and flexibility into the energy grid. We believe the Technology Strategy Board has a role to play in bringing different disciplines and markets together to ensure UK business benefits from these opportunities.”