Electrical Engineering
      and Computer Sciences

Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences


UC Berkeley


2009 Research Summary

Electric Power Industry Applications of MEMS

View Current Project Information

Richard M. White, Michael Seidel1, Eli Leland2 and Paul Wright3

California Energy Commission CEC-MR-07-08WRIGHT

We are researching MEMS sensors that can be used in electrical power delivery systems at all three conventional voltage ranges: 110-660 Vrms (residential/commercial users), 4 kV-39 kVrms (distribution systems), and 115 kVrms and above (power transmission systems). We have conceived and are analyzing, simulating, and testing wireless MEMS-based sensors that are passive proximity devices whose output voltages are linearly proportional to the voltage, or the current, or even the power flowing in the conductors near which they are placed. All these sensors can also be used to scavenge energy from those conductors and hence to power small, efficient wireless radios to transmit the data collected by the sensors. We are also investigating MEMS sensors to detect transmission line sag and the growth of vegetation beneath overhead power lines, as well as means for the remote measurement of the voltages of high-power overhead transmission lines.

1Senior, EECS
2Graduste Student, ME
3Faculty, ME