Principal investigator: Liang Du, Xiaonan Lu

University: Temple University

Industry partners: The Fredericks Company; PECO Energy; PPL Electric Utilities

Temple University, with its partners the Fredericks Company headquartered in Huntingdon Valley, PECO Energy headquartered in Philadelphia, and PPL Electric Utilities Corporation headquartered in Allentown, proposes to develop an integrated electronic apparatus with advanced data analytical algorithms for non-intrusive, prognostic health monitoring of utility assets.

 Tremendous amount of utility assets, including transmission towers, poles, lines, and other equipment, are geographically widespread but interconnected to deliver reliable energy services to the Commonwealth of PA. However, a large portion of utility infrastructure are close to their designed lifespan. Failures of utility assets could cause services outages or even disastrous consequences. Moreover, it costs tremendous amount of resources to repair and improve utility assets, accounted for an estimated 11% of customers’ utility bills.

Recently, several utilities in other states have been investigating post-event asset monitoring devices which can alert the utility with a precise location and a message that includes the size of the pole, number of crossarms and other details. However, the cost and consequences of post-event repair and restoration are often too high. This project proposes to investigate prognostic asset monitoring to avoid outage losses and restoration cost. Deploying the proposed prognostic monitor with novel integrated sensing capabilities and embedded data-driven analytical algorithms, the proposed apparatus can proactively monitor utility assets and alert utilities in advance to prevent outages and failures.

 The proposed apparatus can significantly enhance resiliency of our aging infrastructure, reduce utilities’ operation and maintenance costs, and benefit residential, commercial, and industrial customers with lower-cost and reliable electricity delivery. The proposed apparatus can significantly reduce the inspection and repair costs of utility assets, reduce industrial electricity rate, enhance PA’s manufacturing competitiveness in terms of energy cost and reliability, and preserve affordable and reliable electricity for low-income communities.