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Grid Sentry testing new sensor to keep power lines flowing round the clock

A Dayton company is testing a new sensor that will help utilities in their quest to work smarter with technology that enables them to monitor power lines round the clock and keep energy flowing efficiently.

Tom McCann, president of Grid Sentry, says that the company's sensor products, Line Sentry and PQ Sentry, are attached to power lines and help a utility company to identify inefficiencies that might cause it to use secondary generation sources to meet peak demand loads.

Because the sensors can help reduce peak demand loads, they can help the utility save money and more quickly adapt to changing power needs, he says.

"We have talked with 25 utilities, and all but one said they were interested in our product," says McCann. "There are tremendous inefficiencies in the distribution grid. This helps them manage those so they can avoid using secondary generating capacity, which is expensive."

Peak demand for electricity is expected to grow by 19 percent in the next 10 years, he added. Capacity, however, is only expected to grow by six percent. Maximizing current capacity is essential, says McCann.

Grid Sentry was founded about a year ago to commercialize technology developed by Defense Research Associates of Dayton.

Prototypes of the products are now in use at Dayton Power & Light Company and are being planned for more major utilities. McCann says Grid Sentry is hoping to start wide scale sales of its products in the U.S. in May next year.

They currently have six employees and could hire as many as 40 more by the end of 2011, he says.

Source: Tom McCann, Grid Sentry
Writer: Val Prevish

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