NYPA deploying sensors to improve situational awareness

New York Power Authority
The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is reaching design completion of its statewide sensor deployment program to closely monitor the health and performance of NYPA’s statewide power generation and transmission network. (Pixabay)

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is reaching design completion of its statewide sensor deployment program to closely monitor the health and performance of NYPA’s statewide power generation and transmission network.

“The sensor deployment program is deploying the latest sensor technologies to ensure our generation and transmission system continues to function optimally as energy markets become more dynamic,” said Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO of NYPA, in a statement. “The project supports our goal of becoming the nation’s first end-to-end digital utility by providing thousands of new data points across our system into our centralized integrated smart operations center.”

Once installed, these sensors will make more than 100,000 data points available to NYPA staff and its Integrated Smart Operations Center (iSOC), NYPA’s cutting-edge digital monitoring center—boosting operational efficiency, resiliency and reliability. 

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The nearly $100 million program is broken down into several phases. Phase one, completed in 2018, networked existing sensors to add 20,000 new data points to the 26,000 already monitored by the iSOC. Phase two, currently underway, will ultimately add more than 100,000 data points through the installation of new sensors on assets across the state. Existing sensors capture asset data such as temperature, power loads, vibrations, pressure, emissions and moisture. Phase two will add more of these same sensors, plus additional measures that monitor breaker contact wear, contact timing, current leakage, partial discharge, fluid leak detection and battery bank performance.

The majority of the phase two portion of the program reached design completion in October 2019. In July 2019, NYPA began preliminary construction activities at the sites while the design was still underway. These preliminary efforts, like the installation of electrical conduits and cabinets, laid the groundwork for the full set of construction and sensor installation activities.

The program is being executed using a design-build approach, which means the same vendor—EJ O’Connell Sensor Deployment, a Joint Venture of EJ Electric of Long Island City and O’Connell Electric of Victor, New York—provides both design and construction services. This has enhanced program collaboration and efficiency by enabling the joint venture to order necessary equipment—like sensors, wiring and electrical cabinets—while the design process was still underway.

NYPA’s suite of sensors will ultimately feed key data from power line installations back to advanced analytics platforms, supporting NYPA’s continual drive to meet rigorous ISO 55001 asset management standards through data-driven decision making, long-term planning and improved situational awareness. Additionally, by having access to useful data when it’s needed, NYPA staff can better utilize an “asset savvy” mindset by approaching problems in new and innovative ways.


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