GroundHound - Site Safety Warning System Met with Enthusiasm at Incident Prevention Conference
Press Release – August 2, 2012
Important new safety instrument ready to provide high-voltage worksites with measurement, warning and recording of dangerous conditions associated with Ground Potential Rise and Transients.
Colorado-based electrical engineering firm, Advantage Electronic Product Development, Inc. unveiled their much-anticipated safety instrument for lineworker safety on May 1 – 3, 2012, at the ip (Incident Prevention) Safety Conference and Expo in San Antonio, Texas. Enthusiasm ran high for the GroundHound – Site Safety Warning System, with real time GPR monitoring, it measures, warns and records Transients and Ground Potential Rise events that are a danger to personnel, structures or equipment.
Hazardous voltage from Ground Potential Rise (GPR) Or Earth Potential Rise (EPR) takes place when large amounts of current flow to earth through earth grid impedance causing electrical faults that have occurred at electrical substations, power plants, or high-voltage transmission lines to energize the ground where people are working and equipment is present. The unpredictability of electricity is a constant and ongoing safety hazard. Detection of such rogue currents can present risk of its own when personnel must walk over unsafe ground or touch unsafe equipment. The remotely controlled Groundhound instrument generated a great deal of excitement over the significant reduction of those dangers.
Advantage engineers applied their expertise in instrumentation to design the wireless electronic product to increase safety for power and utility company high-voltage workers. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), under the government’s technology transfer program, granted Advantage an exclusive international license covering all product development, sales and manufacturing of their patented technology. Safety Conference-goers were excited about the iPhone-controlled device and several major utility companies have shown great interest in the instrument. The Advantage team and the DOE worked closely to co-invent the safety instrument which provides warning and information to high-voltage crews.
Advantage President/CEO, Jody Singleton states that: “For the first time high voltage workers can make truly informed decisions regarding procedures and the level of protection required at the job site without having to walk over dangerous ground or touch accidentally energized equipment. The unknowns of electrical current are impossible to predict. In the past, transient currents were thought to be false positives. Field tests of the GroundHound – Site Safety Warning System demonstrated to surprised foremen that they were actually witnessing transient currents.”
The GroundHound – Site Safety Warning System is designed with a Sensor Unit and an iPhone or Android Handheld Unit communicating via ZigBee wireless protocol. Designed to withstand adverse weather conditions, the sensor unit, in a safety yellow, self-contained ruggedized case connects to the worksite ground and lies 20 feet away from it. The sensor is designed to monitor and alarm on three levels of hazard, utilizing an emergency flashing light and an audible alarm which is loud enough to alert the crew above the sound of a typical worksite’s running trucks and bobcats. The handheld unit, a smart phone, is clipped to the foreman’s belt and contains additional alarms. The up-to-the-minute technology used in the design also records spikes and is expected to greatly reduce the hazards known to ground men.
About Advantage Electronic Product Development, Inc.
The Colorado-based electronics-engineering firm has achieved recognition for its expertise in instrumentation development including the award of a contract where NASA engaged the firm to design a flight-qualified photonics dosimetry instrument for astronaut medical safety on the International Space station. Advantage has supported space & earth sciences, renewables/energy, and eco-friendly electronic products for 18 years in the electronic product development business. The company looks forward to developing future utility crew safety instruments.