Utility Line Fault Detection Solution Employs Serial Device Connectivity over Ethernet

Posted by Kari Grosser on Dec 28, 2016 10:15:00 AM


As requirements in power utility solutions expand to accommodate ever-evolving connectivity models and sensor data, system integrators are tasked to keep system integrity by the use of quality components. Advanced line sensors are an example of this need, where fault current indicator functions must be reliable to detect faults quickly and restore power to customers. Not only does advanced line monitoring enable fault detection, but also the grid data collection and analysis that are to become more apart of Smart City initiatives.

When it came to Serial device connectivity over Ethernet for their intelligent line health monitoring. GridSense sought a source that was able to meet the need for dependable serial device server designs and reliable supply.

Project Requirements

GridSense develops innovative, piratical and cost effective Smart Grid monitoring solutions for the power sector, with their intelligent, dependable overhead line monitoring Line IQ products distributed around the world. As signal conversion played a key role in the solution, a robust serial device server was required to convert serial data to Ethernet for RTU output. This device would need to carry the required certifications and keep up with the messaging frequency.

When a RS-232/422/485 serial device server was used by a prior vendor, the throughput could not be met at the message frequency required, so Advantech's ADAM-4571 Serial Device Server.


In the GridSense line health monitoring solution, sensors hang on an overhead power line and send sensor data via ZigBee output to a switchgear box 100 ft away. Inside, a gateway board processes and sends the signal to a series of devices: first, to a robust serial device server is required to convert serial data to Ethernet for sending to a Remote Terminal Unit (RTI). The RTU then transmits the line data via DNP3 to distribution system control for monitoring, alerting and diagnostics.



 7-port RS-232/422/485 Serial Device Server 

GridSense Diagram 1.jpgDiagram 1. GridSense LineIQ's proprietary gateway board is serial output, requiring the Advantech ADAM-4571 as part of the line health monitor solution.

Grid Sense 2.jpgPhoto 1. The GridSense LineIQ solution on the switch box side with the ADAM-4571.


The Advantech solution proved to be the component to meet the specification, and also was selected to be in line with GridSense's overall dedication to high-value designs. "The goal was to go with the company that could provide robust and reliable Ethernet conversion solutions and assure adequate supply for our customers" said Doug McKay, VP of Engineering. With the use of the ADAM-4571 Serial Device Server, GridSense could deliver on another reliable Smart Grid solution.




Topics: Remote I/O

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