EVERETT, Wash. – Fluke Corporation, the global leader in handheld electronic test and measurement technology and electrical calibration, will receive $1.4 million in federal stimulus funding, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to ensure the Smart Grid is reliable and stable, and ready to accept power from renewable resources including wind and solar.
Fluke Corporation, a division of Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR), was chosen to create a new calibration technology that is a catalyst for creating a standard with which electricity flowing into the Smart Grid will be evaluated. The standard will enable consistent measurement of electricity from all sources, including renewable resources such as wind and solar. The grant was awarded by the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the area of Measurement Science and Engineering Research to support research in areas deemed of critical national importance.
“This grant is a testament to the innovations we’ve brought to the field of electrical measurement,” said Barbara Hulit, Fluke president. “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.”
Looming Issue: Why the Smart Grid needs an electrical measurement standard
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 play a vital role in the deployment of the Smart Grid, by measuring and evaluating power flowing into the grid from increasingly diverse sources. Grid distribution centers use this critical information to determine where and when to send power across transmission lines, leading to more efficient use of energy and lessening the risk of power interruptions and outages. PMUs identify the preconditions that lead to power interruptions. The U.S.-Canada investigation into the Northeast blackout of 2003, which disrupted power to an estimated 45 million people in eight U.S. states and 10 million people in Ontario, hypothesized that had a system of PMUs been in place, the grid collapse could have been avoided. According to a recent 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.
Add to this the need for the Smart Grid to carry energy from renewable sources, and there is an even higher potential for future conflicts to occur, putting the U.S. Smart Grid at risk for power interruptions.
“Modernizing the electric grid and improving power system reliability requires very precise electrical measurements. PMUs provide those. They also allow the grid to utilize energy from renewable resources and increase transmission throughput. At present, the testing and verification method for PMUs is unclear. That’s why the Smart Grid needs one measurement standard,” said Warren Wong, director of engineering for Fluke Calibration. “With a PMU calibrator, we’ll have a standard that can be used to uniformly evaluate the proper operation of these devices. That could really minimize the risk of power conditions that lead to blackouts.”
NIST received over 1,300 proposals for the grants and Fluke was one of only 27 companies awarded grants in the area of measurement science and engineering research. 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 effort.
Fluke Corporation is the leader in compact, professional electronic test tools. Fluke customers are technicians, engineers, electricians, metrologists and building diagnostic professionals who install, troubleshoot, and manage industrial electrical and electronic equipment and calibration processes for quality control as well as conducting building restoration and remediation services. In just the past year Fluke tools won more than 15 industry awards including Test and Measurement World Best in Test, Control Engineering Engineer’s Choice, and Plant Engineering Product of the Year. Fluke is a registered trademark of Fluke Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Danaher is a diversified technology leader that designs, manufactures, and markets innovative products and services to professional, medical, industrial, and commercial customers. Our portfolio of premier brands is among the most highly recognized in each of the markets we serve. Driven by a foundation provided by the Danaher Business System, our 47,000 associates serve customers in more than 125 countries and generated $11.2 billion of revenue in 2009. For more information please visit our Web site: www.danaher.com.