Blackout prevention technology – the Israeli way

“To manage power successfully, it’s critical to be able to predict events – to know what the state of the power load is at any point in time, in order to see trouble coming before it hits,” says SATECH CEO …

“To manage power successfully, it’s critical to be able to predict events – to know what the state of the power load is at any point in time, in order to see trouble coming before it hits,” says SATECH CEO Daniel Branover.It took less than 20 seconds for the power outage to spread across more than 20 power lines and blacken the East Coast last summer. Sensors on the power lines registered failures – but at that point, every housewife and subway rider in Manhattan had personally registered the failure.

According to Daniel Branover, the CEO of the Israeli-based company SATEC, the problem is that utilities are simply not in control of energy distribution.

“To manage power successfully, it’s critical to be able to predict events – to know what the state of the power load is at any point in time, in order to see trouble coming before it hits,” says Branower.

Utilities today lack those means to control energy, anywhere in the system – from the sub-station to the residence, and nothing like last month’s experience demonstrates how obsolete the existing information and control system is.

“It’s like a circuit breaker in your house. The master breaker goes down, and then you lift it up to restore electricity. But you had no idea what caused it to go down in the first place or any premonition that something was wrong,” Branower told ISRAEL21c from the company’s U.S. headquarters in New Jersey.


A power outage in modern-day America is an event that is responded to instead of prevented. But Branower says SATEC may have the solution. By utilizing advanced data collection and transmission technologies that gather important power usage information, SATEC’s ExpertPower, processes the information and presents final reports on a website – accessible by everyone from the substation to the household.

By controlling every aspect of energy distribution, utilization, and management, ExpertPower, has the capability to predict, respond and prevent future energy crises.


How? By synchronizing power information down to one millisecond resolution. ExpertPower capabilities can quickly and precisely respond to power loading conditions to shed (and restore) load via either underfrequency or demand
conditions and prevent a catastrophic chain reaction or collapse of the electrical system.

“ExpertPower takes all the devices and connects them into an information service station which provide information to utiilties in real time and shows the complete picture,” said Branower. “Our device measures and analyzes over 1000 parameters. It knows in advance if there’s a problem upcoming and can make plans to deal with it. For instance, it can cause little power outages in staggered neighborhoods, or even buildings, to alleviate the load, instead of resulting in a massive blackout.”

SATEC was established in 1987 in Jerusalem by a group of young engineers and scientists who set out to develop advanced, highly reliable and user friendly electrical power instruments.

Today SATEC is internationally recognized as a leading developer and manufacturer of Digital Powermeters and Power Quality Analysis equipment. The company exports to more than 38 countries worldwide through a distribution network throughout Europe, North and South America and the Far East. SATEC’s products range from simple digital multifunction powermeters designed to replace analog metering, to high-end power quality analysis and automation solutions that provide detailed waveform, fault, power quality, harmonic, and energy analysis, to ethernet gateways and web enabled software to allow world-wide accessibility.


Over the past three years, SATEC has combined its metering and communications expertise to develop ExpertPower.

According to Branover, ExpertPower collects information from everywhere in the system, and by making it accessible through 2-way communication over the Internet, enables the full range of management capabilities, from Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) to load control to fault detection. And, because the information provided covers the entire system, control can be pinpointed to exactly the places where it is needed.


ExpertPower has been deployed in several test sites both in Israel and the US, with positive results.

“Had ExpertPower been deployed by the utilities on the East Coast, the source of the problem would have been identified and action could have been taken to avoid the crisis,” says Branover.