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Utility power transformer monitoring

Nigel Goodwin

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Most Helpful Member
However, as for his project, it seems pretty straightforward.

GSM modem.



Power supply, with battery backup - or even purely battery - using sleep mode on the processor, and everything shut down other than when it's taking readings or sending alerts, should easily give 5+ years battery life.

I would suggest though that instead of sending text messages (which are expensive and limited in size), he uses GPRS data instead which has no size restrictions, and is vastly cheaper to use. However, there are concerns that some countries are stopping 2G and txt services, which does seem unlikely as there are many thousands of professional applications still using those services.

For a start I would suggest using an Arduino, as there's plenty of example code out there, and once the concept is fully proved he could migrate to a simple stand alone processor.
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a very long time ago, one of the jobs i had as a teenager had me installing alarm systems. these alarm systems used a modem to dial the modem line of the alarm company. one of the functions included in the alarm system was reporting power outages. alarm panels operate from battery power if the main power goes out, and phone lines rarely go down at the same time as a power outage ( unless the outage is caused by a natural disaster).

EDIT: at the power station or repair services headquarters, all that would be required is a computer with a modem running terminal software. when a remote station alarm panel reports an outage, the terminal software runs a script that alerts someone that a service call is required. it's a low-tech solution using a bare minimum of infrastructure. IIRC alarm panels can have custom messages programmed into them, so if one calls in an outage, the message could contain the nature of the problem, and the location/area affected. in the case of multiple events (i.e. an outage over a wider area involving several alarm panel locations) the panels can be programmed to keep trying to send their message until they can finally connect with the machine at the dispatch office.
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Well-Known Member
I would first start with checking the load balancing in the power transformers before going into to much fancy technology as there is additional costs for cellphone rental and the likes to transfer data.
Load measurement can easily be done with a set of CT's and thermal Ampere demand meters.
Costs will be relatively low. For temperature thermal strips can be attached to the TX to check what temp. the TX has been subjected too.

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