New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

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Tandon collaborates with New York state to enhance power grid reliability

Researchers at the Tandon School of Engineering will help develop a prototype and develop a technique aimed to decrease power outages.
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Samson Tu
File photo: NYU Tandon’s campus at Brooklyn Commons in 2022. (Samson Tu for WSN)

NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering is collaborating with the New York Power Authority to create a tool that could prevent potential energy outages in the city. A $190,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will support the research.

The technique would alleviate the need to shut down transformers during functionality tests by the NYPA, minimizing power outages in the city and saving NYPA around $15,000 a day. The tool would aim to detect problems in large power transformers, which transfer energy from city’s power lines to utilities and buildings. Once the tool detects abnormally high levels of change in the transformers’ energy, an immediate alarm will allow the NYPA to mitigate the issue before it disrupts the city’s power service. 

“This tool can save NYPA over a million dollars per year by preventing transformer failures,” Francisco de Leon, a Tandon professor who will lead the initiative, said in a written statement to WSN. “We are now only starting to work on the project and I can already see some potential for innovation.”

The NYPA controls 16 generating facilities and over 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines, making it the largest public power organization in the country. Although large power transformers are crucial in the power grid, about 9% of them fail during their 40-year lifetime, which can cause public safety hazards such as fire or explosions and take up to two years to fix, according to Leon.

Initial research will involve creating a prototype to be tested in a simulation facility, which will help researchers investigate energy distributions and storage systems in areas of New York City’s transmission grid. Researchers at Tandon will build 3D models to replicate the systems used to detect problems in the transformers.

Contact Nikki Mirala at [email protected]

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About the Contributor
Samson Tu, Magazine Managing Editor
Samson Tu is finishing his B.A. degree in politics with a thesis on the state of civil society development in the People's Republic of China. Synthesizing his experience in journalism and training in politics, Samson is going to attend the NYU School of Law after his undergraduate to study intellectual property law. Samson attempts to make sense of Heidegger and Sartre or edits photographs on his 15-hour flight between New York and Taipei. He always prefers the flights to New York. Send an email to [email protected] for ideas about WSN's monthly magazine issues!

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