Utilities now have the ability to really rate their line’s capacity. Dynamic line ratings are based on real-time measurements of sag, conductor temperature and weather conditions rather than old-school methods of selecting static conditions by committee. In addition, as more lines become brainy, the grid is morphing into a dynamic system with real-time energy management systems. These systems are capable of optimizing the electrical grid. Power flows can be monitored to avoid congestion, and software predicts the network’s behavior.
Tomorrow’s system operators will have dynamic views of their entire system on their console with event-driven functionality, which is just in time since utilities are operating their facilities closer and closer to capacity limits. Our industry has been moving at an unbelievable pace as we pack more brainpower into every device. It’s a challenging future where diagnostics monitoring and intelligent control systems are fused into a tool set that allows us to get the most out of our aging infrastructure while building out the smart grid of the future.
Above are images of these advancements in sensor technologies, as utilities look to increase capacity and reliability. Images first appeared as part of T&D World's Dynamic Grid supplement in December of 2013. See the articles (website registration is required):