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Other Technology Programs

Overall, the Power Authority has completed or is working on more than 60 technology development projects. Here’s a look at a few others:

Combined Heat-and-Power (CHP) Program

Combined heat-and-power, or cogeneration, technologies produce electricity and meet thermal energy needs (heat, hot water, steam, heating and cooling) simultaneously at the point of use. By contrast, conventional generation discards much of the heat generated in production. In addition to its increased efficiency, CHP offers numerous other advantages, including reduced energy costs, reduced emissions and improved reliability. We are currently working with various customers to install CHP systems at their facilities around the state.

Transmission System Research

As a result of the 1998 ice storm, which caused extensive power outages and considerable property damage to our transmission equipment, we embarked on research to help ensure the reliability of our transmission system and related equipment, from circuit breakers to the anchor rods used to stabilize transmission towers. Most of the research is focused on improved methods for inspecting and maintaining equipment and providing early detection of potential problems.

Digital Right-of-Way Mapping

Using a system of technologies known as a Geographic Information System (GIS) we are able to manage vegetation growth along 1400 transmission miles across New York State. About 16,000 of the 24,000 acres of land under NYPA’s right-of-way (ROW) require periodic monitoring and treatment through trimming and selective application of herbicide to ensure tree growth is kept well away from high-tension lines and the probability of a resulting disruption of service.  In its award winning program recognized as a model for the industry, NYPA’s adaptation of GIS combines aerial and topographic maps, the location of all vegetation species, towers, roads, fences, pastures, rivers, lakes, wetland, farms and nearby building in one working document.  NYPA contractors survey the entire ROW periodically, and GIS provides an efficient roadmap for them to apply selective pruning and tree elimination efforts on a four-year cycle.

Monitoring and Diagnostic Program

Using various technologies, we are working to improve the efficiency and reliability of our hydro and fossil-fueled plants and reduce the cost of producing power. In many cases, we're employing technologies that we've helped develop: 

  • Hydro Flux Monitor is a first-of-its-kind device that detects faults in the rotor performance of generators by continuously analyzing magnetic flux patterns, and provides an alarm when a fault is detected. It allows measurements to be made without the time and expense of sending personnel to the plant; reducing overall test costs and improving staff utilization. Working with EPRI and Iris Power Engineers, the first hydro flux monitors were installed at each of the 16 hydroelectric generating units at our St. Lawrence-FDR Power Project in Massena. Following additional field tests, the hydro flux monitor could ultimately benefit consumers through cost savings and the enhanced reliability of electricity supply. The Hydro-Flux has been singled out by R&D Magazine as one of the “R&D 100” technical innovations of 2006.
  • Moniteq is an online monitoring system that evaluates high-voltage circuit breakers to detect any departure from normal operating conditions and warns of malfunctions and possible failure. This system brought NYPA, Hydro Quebec and Con Edison a 1995 R&D 100 Award as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of that year.
  • HydroX is an expert system we are developing for monitoring and diagnosing the mechanical and electrical condition of hydro machinery. Use of this system will allow maintenance to be performed on a predictive (based on the condition of the equipment) rather than a preventive (replacing equipment at regularly scheduled intervals) basis, thereby increasing reliability and reducing costs.
  • SF6 Laser Imaging Camera is a technology capable of detecting sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) gas leaks in substations and power plants. SF6 gas is used as an insulator in power equipment. It is becoming increasingly expensive and is listed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a greenhouse gas. Utilities are voluntarily reducing SF6 leakage to reduce its environmental impact. In addition, by using this technology as part of our standard maintenance inspections, we are able to locate leaks and order parts prior to the removal of the equipment from service, preventing equipment failure and reducing maintenance costs.

Whether we’re using leading-edge technology or practicing old-fashioned conservation measures, the New York Power Authority is committed to environmental preservation.


July 17, 2013: New Robotic Technology Demonstrated at N.Y. Power Authority's Niagara Power Plant

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