The volume of scientific literature exploring potential applications of online monitoring sensor technologies in the utilities industry continues to expand, along with the number of commercially marketed solutions. However, there appears to be a limited body of research literature that classifies the sensor technologies by functional types, discusses their main value propositions and cost considerations, and explores the extent of their practical application in the context of distribution systems in particular. This study proposes a conceptual framework for classifying the sensor technologies by functional type, relays the results of a survey of 15 utilities on their current levels of distribution sensor deployment, and articulates comprehensive lists of potential costs and benefits that utilities may wish to consider at various stages of technology deployment. The study concludes with a brief set of recommendations for further acquisition and consolidation of industry knowledge in the area of online distribution sensors.
Online sensors, Electricity distribution industry, Implementation costs and benefits, Barriers and opportunities to implementation, Current and voltage sensors, Chemical sensors, Mechanical sensors, Asset management, Reliability performance management, Utility experience with implementation.