NYPA and mPrest Receive $900,000 Grant to Study Prevention of Power Transformer Outages

June 30, 2015

The New York Power Authority and an Israeli software development firm have been awarded a $900,000 grant to develop a system that can rapidly detect malfunctioning power transformers before they cause larger problems on the electric grid.

The funding, from the Israel-U.S. Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation, was provided to NYPA and mPrest, a firm that builds critical monitoring and control systems for the civilian, home land security and defense sectors. NYPA and mPrest will develop software for deployment on the NYPA transmission system, and plan to engage the Electric Power Research Institute for research assistance.

"Power transformers are among the most costly assets in the electric grid, so research in this area is critical," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO who also serves as chair of EPRI. "Providing service without interruption is the best way for everyone to measure how we're doing our job."

"The deployment of sophisticated and comprehensive monitoring and control systems for the mission critical assets of the power utilities will improve the reliability, safety and efficiency of the power grid," said Natan Barak, mPrest president. "Reliable energy flow is paramount and power transformers are critical and costly assets in the electric grid."

The project aims to provide fill a critical need for continued system reliability a predictive analysis tool that could guide operators to potential trouble spots before they emerge, so preventative maintenance can be done. This could potentially prevent sudden equipment failures, risking system reliability and severe damage to equipment.

This project is consistent with a key component of NYPA's Strategic Vision, which sets out a roadmap for how New York can reimagine the power system to meet the needs of an environmentally sustainable, energy-driven economy. A key component is asset management, where the ultimate goal is to focus operations and maintenance activities to support reliable and efficient generation and transmission of low-cost power.

As part of the project, EPRI's Power Transformer Expert System software will work in conjunction with mPrest's Transformer Command and Control Software, which provides information on the asset health of transformers based on commonly available data such as dissolved gas analysis, name plate and other data. The teams plans to test the mPrest software at the EPRI Laboratory in Charlotte on a test transformer to simulate how it would perform if it was degraded or failing.

The Israel-based BIRD Foundation was established by the U.S. and Israeli governments in 1977 to support and promote industrial research and development that mutually benefits both countries, particularly in high-tech industries.

About NYPA:

NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and LinkedIn.

About mPrest

mPrest is a leading-edge provider of mission-critical monitoring and control technology and solutions. With a global track record including the command and control system for the renowned Iron Dome, mPrest "connects the dots", enabling the integration of multiple systems and sensors to optimize performance and dramatically reduce cost and risk.  For more information on mPrest, visit www.mprest.com.

For more information:

New York Power Authority (NYPA)

123 Main St
White Plains, New York
United States, 10601-3170
Tel: 914-681-6200

Steven Gosset
Tel: (914) 390-8192
E-mail: Steven.Gosset@nypa.gov

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