EPRI’s RF Sensor Suite by Andrew Phillips
Among the challenges faced by power utilities these days is their ability to meet expected reliability performance targets in the face of ageing equipment that typically operates at the highest possible level of utilization while oftentimes also exposed to severe service conditions. In the United States alone, the Department of Energy has estimated that the total asset value of power infrastructure exceeds $800 billion. It is therefore obvious that existing grid components cannot simply be changed out for new technologies. Instead, the focus needs to be placed on gradual replacement of assets that have reached the end of their operating life while also developing and installing technologies that can assess the condition of components and provide decision support mechanisms to prioritize both maintenance and replacement. Existing, as well as new sensors, are one of the important sets of enabling technologies that will aid in such decision-making. This presentation reviews modern sensor technologies and offers an overview of the EPRI RF Sensor Suite. It also discusses opportunities to facilitate grid modernization through accelerated development and deployment of the RF Sensor Suite.