SmartConnector: A Self-Powered IoT Solution to Ease Predictive Maintenance in Substations
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The increased dependency on electricity of modern society makes reliability of power transmission systems a key point. This goal can be achieved by continuously monitoring power grid parameters, so possible failure modes can be predicted beforehand. The deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions and new low-cost sensors eases this task. This paper presents a self-powered IoT solution for real-time monitoring of different parameters of a high-voltage substation connector. This new family of power connectors is called SmartConnector, which incorporates a thermal energy harvesting system powering a microcontroller that controls a transmitter, and several electronic sensors to measure the temperature, current and voltage drop across the connector to estimate the electrical contact resistance (ECR) of the connector. These measurements are sent remotely via a Bluetooth 5 wireless communication module to a local gateway, which transfers the measured data to a database server for storage and further analysis and visualization. Different experiments are presented to validate the feasibility of the SmartConnector in terms of measurement accuracy in comparison with a wired system. The proposed thermal energy harvesting is tested to calculate the optimum data transfer rate needed for extending the lifetime of the SmartConnector. A shielding solution for the electronics operating under this high voltage environment is also proposed
CitationKadechkar, A. [et al.]. SmartConnector: A Self-Powered IoT Solution to Ease Predictive Maintenance in Substations. "IEEE sensors journal", 28 Maig 2020, vol. 20, núm. 19, p. 11632-11641.
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