In September 2011 Transense established a new trading division, IntelliSAW. The new business was established to develop and market SAW based wireless sensor systems for Smart Grid applications. Its patent-protected IS485 family of products provides continuous, wireless temperature monitoring of critical electric power switchgear equipment. Temperature is the lead indicator of potential failure for electrical switchgear.
Smart Grid is the broad term used to describe technologies that provide intelligent control and monitoring of the electrical power grid. IntelliSAW leverages existing Transense IP and R&D investment and uses the Company’s patented SAW interrogation electronics to provide a state-of-the-art wireless temperature monitoring system, initially targeted at the Electrical Switchgear market. Having accurate, continuous, real-time temperature data instantaneously available at key points in the power transmission network provides power companies with early warning of potential problems. Failures within the network can have catastrophic consequences, causing significant damage, power outages and potentially fatal accidents.
Currently available switchgear monitoring solutions, whether wired, infrared or RF based, all have inherent drawbacks such as the potential for arcing or flashover, lack of continuous monitoring or the requirement for batteries or other direct power sources in an inherently unsuitable environment. The IntelliSAW system addresses all these drawbacks and offers a versatile, scalable and low maintenance solution that is easier to install and commission.
SAW technology provides the ideal solution:
A Morgan Stanley report analysing the Smart-Grid market puts current investment at $20 billion per year increasing to over $100 billion per year by 2030. The Transense Board believes that the market opportunity for IntelliSAW is significant, and in line with the Company’s revised strategy of seeking out new routes to market for its wireless and battery-less sensing technology to generate additional near-term income, IntelliSAW will provide another complementary revenue stream.
As a key aspect of the IntelliSAW business the Company has been able to engage several experts in the SAW sensing field who were previously employed by Vectron, as members of the IntelliSAW team. These individuals bring strong application expertise specific to industrial markets such as Smart Grid which will greatly assist the scalability of the business.
Development of the IntelliSAW solution has been rapid, to the extent that the new IS485 electrical switchgear monitoring system began shipping to customers in December 2011. The IS485 platform brings an advanced feature set as compared to legacy solutions, including twelve independent sensor frequencies and four antenna connections per reader which combined allow for up to 48 sensors per system. Further innovative advances in interrogation protocols, differential sensor topology, and microcontroller architecture serve to resolve a number of known issues with existing solutions including sensor drop-out, challenging system set-up processes, positional dependence of sensor calibration, and non-compliance to high voltage application environments.
Commercial progress has been equally rapid with the establishment of seven regional sales channel partnerships, covering key smart grid growth markets in the USA, China & Asia, Malaysia & South East Asia, India, Saudi Arabia, Brazil & South America and others currently under negotiation. Product has now begun shipping and a variety of trials and pilots are underway.
For more information visit the IntelliSAW website.