Sentient Energy launches UM1 underground line sensor

Feb. 7, 2022
Promises greater visibility and control in residential distribution grids.

Sentient Energy announced its new UM1 underground line sensor, which promises to enable utilities to extend underground line-sensing beyond feeder lines to include laterals or underground residential distribution (URD). Sentient Energy’s UM1 provides remote visibility, fault detection, and load monitoring in single-phase transformer cabinets, said its maker.     

“Virtually every utility is prioritizing underground distribution to improve safety, but for utilities to realize the full reliability benefits of undergrounding investments, they need precise visibility and control along all parts of their underground systems,” said Bob Karschnia, CEO of Sentient Energy. “The UM1 provides that visibility in a way no other sensors can, and will help utilities dramatically reduce downtime in residential areas.”   

Sentient Energy’s UM1 underground sensor delivers value in several industry-first ways, and helps utilities realize faster return on investment with their undergrounding initiatives, they claimed. With the new UM1 underground line sensors, utilities can: 

  • Radically improve fault-location in underground residential distribution, reducing outage durations by over 20% improving customer satisfaction and reducing fault-repair costs.   
  • Provide true load data at selected URD locations to identify transformer detrimental loading and potential power theft.      
  • Implement plug-and-play line-sensing on underground residential distribution in minutes to determine optimal power distribution configurations.  

“Developed in close collaboration with several valued utility customers, our new UM1 underground sensors slash the time it takes to find and remedy outages, to keep the lights on for residential areas,” added Karschnia. “With the addition of the UM1 to the Sentient Energy Grid Analytics System, utilities can now extend the proven benefits of line-sensing across their entire distribution system, gaining visibility of their single-phase underground circuits closer to the grid edge.”