Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

GE to monitor transformers for Georgia Power

Iain Morris
November 4, 2014

GE is to provide a monitoring service to Georgia Power that will provide the utility with real-time data on the condition of each transformer on its grid.

The aim is to improve the reliability and efficiency of Georgia Power’s electrical grid infrastructure, said GE (Fairfield, CT, USA) in a statement.

The deal represents the largest-ever for GE-Digital Energy’s monitoring and diagnostic product line.

Georgia Power (Atlanta, GA, USA) currently maintains some 2,000 transformers and provides power to around 2.4 million customers in Georgia.

The utility wants to cut down on unexpected failures and understand more about the overall health of its fleet through the use of M2M technology.

“Increasing reliability through the application of advanced technologies is a focus for us every day,” said Danny Lindsey, vice president of transmission for Georgia Power. “Georgia Power has one of the ‘smartest’ electrical grids in the country that helps us minimize interruptions in service to our customers during day-to-day operations and in severe circumstances including storms.”

“The new project with GE is the latest way we’re working to proactively monitor our system to ensure we’re addressing any potential issues before they become a threat to our reliability,” added Lindsey.

The GE technology will allow Georgia Power to remotely monitor the performance of its transformers and detect signs of problems before they lead to cost grid failures.

Software developed by GE will also help the utility to better understand budget requirements by providing it with real-time knowledge about the health of its entire transformer fleet.

“Global grid operators have long depended on physical transformer inspections to understand the condition of their transformer fleet,” said Graham McGuigan, senior product manager for GE’s Digital Energy business. “Today’s technology advancements allow grid operators to leverage real-time data on the operation of each transformer and make quicker decisions to mitigate potential issues caused by storms, malfunctions or aging equipment.”

“Using GE’s transformer fleet management solutions, operators can now remotely view the overall risks to their transformer fleet, allowing them to prioritize their capital expenditures and operations and maintenance investments to potentially avoid costly, unplanned outages,” added McGuigan.

GE and Georgia Power say they will start implementing the transformer monitoring technology late this year and intend to have completed the entire rollout by the end of 2016.
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