SEI: Deep visibility for the distribution grid

Today’s distribution grid — those nearly uncountable wires, loads, substations, relays, transformers — is ‘dark’: there’s little to no visibility. Without visibility, there can be no control. No control — no smartgrid.

Tomorrow’s distribution grid needs to be smart enough to accommodate ubiquitous distributed energy production, intelligent load shedding/sensing, directional energy control, islanding and anti-islanding, electric cars, better control of reactive power, and much more. That intelligence requires visibility — realtime, highly accurate data that’s synchronized tightly enough to differentiate one time and place on the power wave from another (which, of course, travels at the speed of light). And all that stuff has to happen so cheaply, it can be done everywhere.

Smart Energy Instruments (SEI) represents the single most important breakthrough in sensors for the emerging Smartgrid: highly granular, ultra low-cost analysis of the power wave that’s synchronized across space via the GPS clock. Even traditional synchrophasors on the transmission grid — at hundreds of times their price point — can’t touch the high performance of SEI’s new chipset. That chipset is designed to be incorporated into almost any equipment that touches the grid, from line pole insulators to relays, from utility-grade communication devices to transformers.

Initial applications of this technology will include Angle/Frequency Monitoring, Post-Mortem-Analysis, Voltage Stability Monitoring, Improved State Estimation, DG / IPP Applications, Power System Restoration and will ultimately ‘close the loop’ and allow for real-time control of power flows.

SEI has partnered with Hitachi High Tech (HHT), Brookhaven National Labs, Siemens and Tailyn to bring this technology to market. The partnership with HHT was recently expanded.

Founder and CEO Jeff Dionne has a successful track record of delivering game changing technology — most notably as the co-inventor of uClinux. Jeff is joined by Executive Chair Dominic Geraghty, with a long history of high level engagement in the utility sector. We are co-invested alongside VentureLink and OETF.

Originally posted Jan 15, 2014 on the ArcternVentures.com