Fluke awarded $1.4 million to establish smart grid calibration technology

Goal to increase electrical reliability and reduce power interruptions.

Comments Off on Fluke awarded $1.4 million to establish smart grid calibration technology February 8, 2010
by DE staff

Mississauga’s Fluke Corporation announced that it will receive $1.4 million in U.S. federal stimulus funding—made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act—to ensure the Smart Grid is reliable and stable, and ready to accept power from renewable resources including wind and solar.

Fluke Corporation, a division of Danaher Corporation, was chosen to create a new calibration technology that is a catalyst for creating a standard with which electricity flowing into the Smart Grid will be evaluated. The standard will enable consistent measurement of electricity from all sources, including renewable resources such as wind and solar. Fluke’s new calibration technology will be used to calibrate Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs), a gating technology that measures the health of the electrical power grid. PMUs play a vital role in the deployment of the Smart Grid, by measuring and evaluating power flowing into the grid from diverse sources. Grid distribution centers use this information to determine where and when to send power across transmission lines. PMUs identify the preconditions that lead to power interruptions.

The U.S.-Canada investigation into the Northeast blackout of 2003, which disrupted power to an estimated 45 million people in eight U.S. states and 10 million people in Ontario, hypothesized that had a system of PMUs been in place, the grid collapse could have been avoided. According to a recent study at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, power interruptions cost the U.S. economy about $79 billion annually, or about one third of what the nation spends on electricity.

Fluke will develop the calibrator over the next 26 months, and as part of the grant, will invest $390,000 of its own money in the development effort.