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Grenoble INP Institut d'ingénierie et de management

Grenoble Institute of Engineering and Management
Innovating for a Sustainable Future
Innovating for a Sustainable Future

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Altrans monitors electrical networks

Published on February 8, 2021
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Translocator is a detection system for emerging faults in electrical networks. After having won the Grid-Up prize in 2017, the technology, which was developed at GIPSA-Lab*, led to the creation of Altrans. The startup is now responsible for continuing the technology’s development through commercialization and operation.

altrans

altrans

Maintenance for electrical networks is a real headache! In addition to the difficulty of accessing cables that are either underground or up in the air, there are simply more than 100,000 km worth of high and very high tension lines plus 1.3 million km worth of high and low tension lines. As a result, maintenance is organized around a pre-planned schedule which is currently insufficient to prevent rather frequent electrical failures.

Cornel Ioana, a lecturer at Grenoble INP-Ense3 and a researcher at GIPSA-Lab, developed TransLocator as a modular system that provides overall monitoring for electrical networks. Thanks to online, continuous monitoring, the system detects faults before they actually occur, which facilitates anticipated maintenance and lowers costs as well as overall maintenance requirements for an electrical network.

This patented innovation won the Grip’Up prize (ENEDIS) in May 2017. Following the prize, Cornel Ioana continued developing the system as part of the SATT Linksium incubation program. The system was finalized in 2018 and took steps to explore and understand global market needs in order to develop a product.
 
altrans

The system is based on technology that is capable of detecting temporary faults in an electrical network (e.g., electrical arcs and shocks). The detection is automatic and autonomous,” explains the researcher. The detection sensors are non-intrusive and self-charging thanks to an energy system that reuses energy present in the lines. The sensors send fault information to a central module which modelizes the data in order to locate the origin of the problem.

The lab provided a fundamental innovation in terms of how to analyze signals thanks to a mathematical tool that performs as a sort of magnifying lens. Algorithms and software were created to analyze temporary electromagnetic phenomena and determine whether or not these signals were normal or an indication of a fault.

Officially created in November 2020, Altrans is continuing its partnership with ENEDIS. The startup has begun installing sensors on a few network segments. The data is then collected and analyzed in Grenoble. In partnership with EDF, Altrans is working to certify the operational reliability of its product. “With their support, we have access to the only true scale model of the network, which enables us to test all possible faults and ensure our tools are able to detect and locate them.” With such promising results, Altrans is already aiming to conquer markets in Canada and China. All the best of luck to them!

* Grenoble INP, CNRS and UGA

 
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Date of update February 8, 2021

French
Grenoble INP
Grenoble INP, Graduate schools of Engineering and Management
Université Grenoble Alpes

(Institut polytechnique de Grenoble)
46 avenue Félix Viallet
F38031 Grenoble Cedex 1 - France
Tel. : +33 4 76 57 45 00 - Fax. : +33 4 76 57 45 01
 
 
             
Université Grenoble Alpes