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R&D/Innovation

Report Introduction

R&D/Innovation

An innovative spirit and hard work are two of our company’s greatest assets. Our research and development teams work diligently to find solutions that make the workplace safer and improve our customers’ quality of life. Our numerous ongoing projects are described below.

Safety

We are:

  • promoting a new natural gas detector we developed for home use that can detect gas at significantly lower concentrations than commercial natural gas detectors on the market; plus, these residential gas detectors can be integrated with the Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) communication network
  • developing a machine with advanced automated technology that allows workers to remotely perform key cable-splicing operations, the first of its kind for a utility company
  • developing technology for removing breakers that will reduce the risk of exposure to potential arc flash and soft-tissue injuries
  • using two ergonomic devices that reduce the risk of back injuries caused by repetitive motion or heavy work; one device is worn over a worker’s clothes, the other clips onto a worker’s belt


Operational Excellence

We are:

  • developing a thermal imaging borescope that can be fed through manhole covers, which will improve inspections
  • developing a tool that uses electrical energy to fracture rock or concrete encountered during jobs requiring excavation
  • conducting non-intrusive detection for anomalies (disbondment) on the corrosion-protective coating of buried transmission pipes, a measure that will reduce dielectric fluid leaks
  • collaborating with energy companies and the Department of Homeland Security to review best practices in cybersecurity at electric-steam generating plants and at our gas facilities
  • endeavoring to better control voltage levels on feeder lines that run from substations to the electric distribution system, which will increase efficiency, reduce overall energy use, manage energy demand during peak periods, and help facilitate the integration of solar and other distributed energy resources


Customer Experience

We have:

  • implemented testing software that can provide financial incentives to customers who charge their electric vehicles during our system’s off-peak periods, and we are deploying the Connect DER meter collar to facilitate customer installations of solar generation; the meter collar fits right onto the Con Edison electric meter, avoiding the need for a separate device to meter the output of the solar panels and renewable energy credits generated
  • installed advanced steam-heating control in a Long Island City building that lets occupants use a smart wall thermostat to schedule their desired apartment temperature, giving customers control to save money and increase comfort
  • worked with the Fire Department of New York on a first-of-its-kind program to test the safety of lithium ion and other battery chemistries before they are installed in large city buildings
  • continued to work with New York City and the Department of Buildings to create standards and regulation for widespread customer adoption of natural gas detectors

 

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