Fluke awarded over a million for smart grid calibration technology
Fluke Corp. will receive $1.4 million in U.S. federal stimulus funding to ensure the smart grid is reliable and stable, and ready to accept power from renewable resources.
“We are excited at the prospect of helping develop a measurement
standard that makes the entire U.S. Smart Grid more stable, while
utilizing renewable energy efficiently and effectively,” said Barbara
Hulit, Fluke president.
Fluke’s new calibration technology will be used to calibrate Phasor
Measurement Units (PMUs)—a gating technology that measures the health of
the electrical power grid. PMUs measure and evaluate power flowing into
the grid from diverse sources. Grid distribution centres then use this
information to determine where/when to send power across transmission
lines, leading to a more efficient use of energy and lessening the risk
of power interruptions and outages.
PMUs identify the preconditions that lead to power interruptions. The
Canada-U.S. investigation into the Northeast blackout of 2003
hypothesized that, had a system of PMUs been in place, the grid collapse
could have been avoided. Fluke also says that, according to a study at
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, power interruptions cost the U.S.
economy about $79 billion annually, or about one third of what the
nation spends on electricity.
Fluke will develop the calibrator over the next 26 months and, as part
of the grant, will invest $390,000 of its own money in the development
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