Tollgrade Communications, Inc. has partnered with Echelon Corp. to provide a solution that offers real-time visibility into the power distribution network and grid analytics to monitor usage and demand. Tollgrade developed an application, LightHouse®, for Echelon’s Control Operating System (COS) that delivers end-to-end smart grid analytics to prevent outages, reduce operating expense through asset and vegetation management, and protect revenue for utilities.

The Tollgrade application, leveraging Tollgrade’s next-generation, medium-voltage LightHouse sensors and analytic software, runs within the COS software platform on Echelon’s Edge Control Node (ECN). The LightHouse application provides smart sensing and intelligent analytics for instantaneous feedback on the operational status of the grid.

“Echelon's COS platform is an ideal complement to our LightHouse distribution grid monitoring solution,” said Ed Kennedy, President and CEO of Tollgrade. “Utilities today are working to improve the reliability and efficiency of the grid. These improvements require dynamic, real-time intelligence. The integration of Tollgrade's LightHouse solution with the COS platform adds intelligence and control to the distribution grid, providing direct benefits to both utilities and consumers.”

“Through our collaboration with Tollgrade, utilities can now benefit from the kind of innovative, smart energy applications we had in mind when we developed Echelon’s COS,” said Ron Sege, President and CEO of Echelon. “This application leverages the power of Echelon’s energy control networking platform to move the grid beyond centralized reading of meters to a truly open, intelligent and distributed system that can monitor and react to an increasingly dynamic and demanding environment. As demand for electricity grows and its supply becomes increasingly distributed, utilities can now enhance customer experience through improved reliability, accelerated response times and increased efficiencies.”

The joint solution uses Tollgrade’s LightHouse medium-voltage sensors deployed on the distribution grid and Echelon’s NES software (System Software and Element Manager), combined with LightHouse Sensor Management System (SMS) software, at the utility head end. Using Echelon’s open COS platform, the ECN reports critical data and analytics from Tollgrade’s LightHouse sensors back to a utility’s operations center. This data can then be used to analyze detailed information on electrical loads and momentary and sustained outage events and accurately identify fault locations. By collecting circuit load measurements, efficiency improvements can be made through load balancing.

“Open, flexible data analytics capabilities will be an essential element of successful smart grid deployments,” said Clint Wheelock, president of Pike Research. “Our analysis indicates that the hardware, software, and services that enable smart grid data analytics will represent one of the highest-value investment opportunities for utilities over the next few years, as they will provide the necessary intelligence to achieve a more stable and reliable grid.”

Tollgrade’s LightHouse medium voltage power line sensor and analytic software provide utilities with actionable, real-time grid intelligence. The LightHouse system is transforming the electric grid and enabling utilities to proactively prepare for the challenges of tomorrow. Tollgrade's medium voltage power line sensor communicates wirelessly and is software definable.