New Zealand's second largest electricity network company, Powerco, is set to deploy a large-scale LoRaWAN network to support IoT and other applications.
Paris-based Actility was selected to deploy the system, which will be used to improve monitoring of the network using smart grid sensors to detect malfunctions in real-time.
Ian Skipworth, general manager of service delivery and systems operations at Powerco, said the technology will improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the network for customers.
Powerco will use a secured private instance of Actility's ThingPark enterprise IoT platform.
LoRaWAN delivers extremely long-range and low-power capabilities to cover thousands of kilometers of network at low cost.
It is especially suited to use in remote areas which are challenging to reach because LoRaWAN devices last for years on one battery charge.
Sensors will provide fault, performance and metering information, allowing Powerco to more easily detect and locate power outages, identify underperforming assets, and understand power demand.
The Powerco grid covers 28,000 kilometres of overhead lines and underground cables serving urban and rural households, businesses and major industrial and commercial sites around New Zealand's North Island.
Starting from June 2021, 200 gateways will be installed around the network over 24 months and LoRaWAN-connected sensors will be placed on electricity assets such as power poles, lines and transformers.
Each gateway can monitor hundreds of sensors, creating a comprehensive picture of the network.