GridSense has announced its partnership with On-Ramp Wireless to develop the first affordable utility distribution point monitoring system. The comprehensive system for distribution automation combines the GridSense TransformerIQ platform with On-Ramp's Ultra-Link Processing (ULP) system.

Together these technologies enable utilities to deploy secure and reliable monitoring throughout their distribution network for (1) asset monitoring, (2) fault indication to improve outage restoration, (3) to provide alerts to power quality issues, (4) to capture power thefts and (5) to act as a hub for demand-side load management -- all with a single wireless device.

Of the approximately 1 million transformers in the United States, only 2% are currently monitored. By accessing information from their network of distribution transformers and overhead lines, utilities gain savings, efficiencies, and reliability, and will avoid large unnecessary capital expenditures. For example, with accurate "real time" low-cost monitoring, utilities could reduce reserve margins from as much as 20% to as little as 10%, which on a nationwide basis could avoid almost $100 billion of capital expenditure of the next twenty years.

On-Ramp's ULP system can support 20,000 TransformerIQ monitors per Access Point. This provides capacity to spare for other distribution automation applications, and securely deliver transformer data to a utility's back office OMS/DMS and other systems.

GridSense TransformerIQ offers a quick retrofit solution onto existing energized distribution transformers, enabling a lower cost system upgrade without the impact of an outage or downtime. Working with GridSense, On-Ramp is providing utilities with the resources necessary to effectively monitor their distribution assets and improve their performance and bottom lines.

On-Ramp and GridSense will jointly pilot the Smart Transformer monitoring solution in Q2 2011.