Tollgrade Adds New LightHouse® Cellular Sensors to its Industry-Leading Distribution Monitoring Platform

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Utilities can reduce outage minutes and improve grid efficiency with a payback in less than two years

The most recent set of medium voltage sensors can provide a utility with a plethora of loading, power quality, and fault information,

Tollgrade Communications Inc., a global leader in providing network assurance solutions to the world’s largest utilities and telecommunications providers, today announced the availability of a cellular version of its industry-leading LightHouse Medium Voltage (MV) distribution line sensors. Tollgrade is the first company to offer cellular sensors that come pre-bundled with a data plan and leads the industry in flexibility, functionality and ease of deployment. The cellular sensors lead the industry in flexibility of cost, scale and ease of deployment. Tollgrade will launch and demonstrate the new cellular sensors at DistribuTECH in San Diego January 29 – 31 in booth #3025.

“With this turnkey solution, Tollgrade eliminates the costs and aggravations stemming from the communication backhaul challenges utilities face when modernizing their distribution grid,” said Edward H. Kennedy, CEO at Tollgrade. “Like the rest of the LightHouse family, the cellular sensors will reduce customer outage minutes, help eliminate equipment failures that lead to outages and decrease the operating expense of running their network. LightHouse sensors substantially improve the reliability and efficiency of the distribution network and can offer our customers a payback on their investment often in less than two years.”
Large-Scale Successful Deployments to Utilities

Tollgrade LightHouse sensors have been successfully deployed to improve grid reliability, remotely monitor substations and predict failures in high value protection equipment. In a public filing with the Ontario Energy Board in 2012, Toronto Hydro stated they had the potential to save 550,000 customer outage minutes by using the Tollgrade LightHouse system. Unlike traditional fault indicators, the Tollgrade solution combines real-time grid intelligence gathered wirelessly from sensors with predictive analytics software, allowing utilities to detect outages before customers call and in many cases, prevent future outages.

“The most recent set of medium voltage sensors can provide a utility with a plethora of loading, power quality, and fault information,” said analyst Ben Kellison in a recent GTM Research Distribution Automation Report. “For example, Tollgrade’s [LightHouse sensor] coupled with its analytic software can identify portions of the grid that are experiencing transient faults from overgrown trees, along with identifying outages and current levels.”
Industry Leading Low Current Sensors For the Medium Voltage Grid

LightHouse inductively powered line sensors lead the industry with operation down to three amps. Unlike first generation fault indicators, LightHouse distribution line sensors provide the ideal combination of outage and fault detection, configurable threshold alarming, real-time load and power quality monitoring that can be used for a wide variety of smart grid applications from improving reliability to remotely monitoring substations.

LightHouse sensors quickly clamp directly onto overhead conductors, are inductively powered, store energy without the use of a maintenance prone battery, are over-the-air upgradable and provide real-time data and alarms about grid conditions. The flexible architecture allows utilities to integrate over cellular, or utilize their wide area network (e.g. WiFi, WiMAX, wireless mesh, DSL or fiber). Key sensor measurements include: load current, fault current, electric field strength, power factor, phase angle, sags, surges, wire temperature and harmonics.

LightHouse Sensor Management System (SMS) Software – Predictive Analytics and Big Data Analysis
Tollgrade LightHouse SMS software works with line sensors to detect and locate faults with real-time information; classify different types of line disturbances; and continuously monitor power quality and resolve reliability issues across the medium voltage distribution network. The LightHouse SMS software consolidates circuit measurements, provides map-view displays of sensors and events, and integrates to Data Historians, SCADA, OMS and DMS systems. Within the software, customizable rules can be defined to alert utilities to inefficient operating conditions, subtle system failures, or indications of anomalous behavior that are early indications of future outages. The software recognizes and can report on the cause of these inefficient grid conditions including load imbalance, blown lateral fuses, , vegetation/animal disturbances, and improper coordination of circuit protection timing.
Demonstrations at DistribuTECH 2013

Tollgrade will demonstrate the LightHouse solution at its booth #3025 at DistribuTECH. The company will build customized business cases for utilities looking to purchase, demo or pilot the solution. On Tuesday, January 29 from 4 – 6 pm PST, the company is hosting a “Keep the Lights On” cocktail reception and invites all utilities to attend. Additionally, LightHouse sensors will also be available in the following partners’ booths during the show: Echelon, Qualcomm and Sprint.

Pricing and Availability
LightHouse cellular MV Sensors are currently available and shipping. For more information, please contact getlighthouse(at)tollgrade(dot)com

About Tollgrade
With a global footprint and over 25 years of experience providing cutting-edge network assurance solutions, Tollgrade Communications Inc. has built a reputation for improving the reliability and operational efficiency at the world’s largest utilities and telecommunications providers allowing operators to reduce customer down time and recover lost revenue. In 2011, Tollgrade was acquired by Golden Gate Capital – a San Francisco‐based private equity firm with more than $12 billion of capital under their management. Learn more about us at

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