Electricity is a mission-critical function of global economic growth. It powers the Internet, cities, neighborhoods, and almost every aspect of our modern existence. Power outages, as a result, can cause severe economic disruptions that are costly - to the tune of $150 billion each year in the U.S. alone. Even worse, outages are on the rise, increasing by 124% in the U.S. over the past two decades.
Despite grid advancements and utilities’ commitment to restore power around the clock, outages frustrate customers who expect service ubiquity. Because the low voltage grid lacks embedded and distributed intelligence, utilities cannot automatically detect small-scale outages when they occur; they largely rely on customers to call and report failures. Restoration is verified by calling the customer or sending a field technician to see if lights are back on at the premise. Large outage restoration is a slow, manual process of trial and error, with field technicians patiently restoring power one segment at a time to avoid the cold load pickup problem.