Keeping the Power On: 5G Satellites Support Smart Grid Sensors, Pinpointing Problems Promptly
A partnership between Sateliot, operator of a constellation of low earth orbit “nanosatellites” and Sentrisense, developer of power grid sensors, aims to reduce the time required to troubleshoot power outages, minimizing the duration of the outage. The Sateliot satellites support 5G narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) connectivity. The Sentrisense sensors connect to electric towers and electric lines to keep management apprised of their status and condition.
The 5G satellites will provide Sentrisense with connectivity to its devices, even if the devices are out of reach of other forms of connectivity. Sentrisense will monitor the devices and modify amperages as needed to manage the grid more efficiently even in the case of accidents, fires or broken lines. The time required to pinpoint broken wires can be reduced from four hours to just five minutes, according to the partners. The deal with Sateliot will enable Sentrisense to make its platform available anywhere on earth, the companies say. Currently, the system is up and running in the United States, Australia, Belgium, Chile, Spain and Sweden.
The partnership will enable massive data gathering that will make the power grid smarter. The devices can report ambient weather conditions — including humidity and wind speed and direction — which will enable proactive steps to be taken to protect the grid. The system can help prevent energy leaks and help preparations for heat waves or blizzards. “The massive connectivity between 5G satellites and the sensors will allow far more accurate predictions on wear and tear analysis, alert to the presence of fallen trees or ice on the lines, and make models of wire inclination and distance from the ground and model the ideal ampacity, among other applications,” said Sateliot CEO Jaume Sanpera in a press release.
Sentrisense sensors last 10 years and can work with a variety of networks, including 4G and Wi-Fi. The devices can be attached with an industry standard clip, even by drone. They are provided with a solar panel and battery.