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Underground Cable Advanced Diagnostics

Award Information

Department of Energy
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2011 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
57 b
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Underground Systems, Inc.
84 Business Park Drive Suite 109 Armonk, NY 10504-
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2011
Title: Underground Cable Advanced Diagnostics
Agency: DOE
Contract: DE-FG02-10ER85843
Award Amount: $984,291.00


In order to optimize the operating efficiency of the underground transmission system utilities must be able to safely maximize the power cable systems capacity. This allows the operator to: (1) Establish efficient generation scheduling; (2) Maximize power transfer capability; and (3) Extend decision time and options when responding to system contingencies. These are critical elements when developing a Smart Grid. In order to take advantage of the above concepts the utility must have confidence in the reliability of the cable system. Continuous monitoring of critical system parameters and subsystems with intelligent algorithms will provide this confidence. To execute the above in Phase I USi investigated and developed a preliminary design for an intelligent distributed instrumentation package that reliably and accurately provides the required information on a continuous basis. USi reviewed its approach with several utilities and has selected one for pilot testing. In Phase II USi intends to finalize the design for the underground cable advanced diagnostics system, develop, procure, install, integrate and field test the prototype system in partnership with the selected major utility in order to prepare the new technology for widespread commercial deployment. USi is a leader in advanced diagnostics for underground cables with over 20 years experience in the design, manufacture and field application of monitoring, rating, diagnostics and control systems for underground cables. USis experience includes real-time ratings, leak detection, cathodic protection system monitoring, cumulative loss in life calculation and partial discharge detection. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits: Successful implementation of the proposed system has social, technical, and economic benefits to the: (1) The social benefit to the U.S. is the security and comfort that the public derives in knowing that the; and (2) has the most technologically advanced electric power transmission grid, and that the supply of electricity to residential, commercial and industrial customers is the most secure and reliable in the world. The technical benefit to the U.S. includes establishing a leadership role in the development of next-generation smart grid instrumentation delivering more reliable underground cable operation and safety. The economic benefit to the U.S. is created through better asset utilization and improved system efficiencies. The availability of advanced sensors and systems will also enhance our competitive position into a market that is becoming increasingly dominated by foreign-based technologies.

Principal Investigator:

Frank Hoppe

Business Contact:

Paul Alex
Small Business Information at Submission:

Underground Systems, Inc.
84 Business Park Drive Suite 109 Armonk, NY 10504-

EIN/Tax ID: 132837950
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No