Electric Power Research Institute recognizes an initiative that will help local energy companies expedite response to power outages; one of several award winners from Exelon
The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently honored Steve Atkinson, principal business project manager at Pepco Holdings, with the Technology Transfer Award. EPRI gives the award annually to utility employees who have explored and implemented innovative technologies on behalf of their company and the industry. Atkinson was part of a team of employees from fellow Exelon utilities BGE, ComEd and PECO who researched how deploying low-cost sensors on electric distribution poles could assist utilities in responding to outages faster and more efficiently.
“We are committed to studying and implementing innovative technologies that help maintain safe and reliable service for our customers,” said Miguel Ortega, Pepco Holdings’ vice president of technical services. “I applaud Steve and the Exelon team for this well-deserved award and their ongoing efforts to help us improve reliability for our customers.
Atkinson and the Exelon team discovered that two types of sensors, including one developed by EPRI, can communicate over a cellular network to detect a downed utility pole. The research also discovered that the sensors could detect when damaged poles were leaning and when power lines were sagging during times of heavy load. Installing the sensors will allow energy companies to not only identify exactly where a downed pole is located and respond quickly, but also identify damaged poles and fix them before an outage occurs. Twenty sensors were installed as part of this project, including in Atlantic City Electric’s service area in southern New Jersey, where local Engineering Supervisor Ryan Sherwood and his team coordinated deployment of the sensors.
Pepco Holdings oversees the operation of three regional energy companies that are part of the Exelon family of companies: Atlantic City Electric in southern New Jersey, Delmarva Power in Delaware and Maryland, and Pepco in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
The awards were presented during EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization awards dinner in Coronado, Calif. on February 6.
“The 2017 Technology Transfer Award winners have taken EPRI R&D to new levels to shape and improve an integrated energy network,” said Arshad Mansoor, senior vice president of R&D at EPRI. “The commitment and collaboration demonstrated by these individuals and teams not only benefits their companies, but the entire industry as we all have a stake in transforming and integrating the power system.”
Ten employees from Exelon’s utilities and generation fleet received a total of five awards.