Acense LLC is developing and testing a sensor focused on early fault warning for oil-immersed electrical equipment. In systems such as power transformers, oil-filled high-voltage cables and network protection transformers, Acetylene gas is only produced by high-energy discharges or high temperature, which often signals a failure in progress. Generation of any amount of acetylene gas above a few parts per million unequivocally indicates a problem. The sensor responds to very low levels of acetylene gas. Unlike other fault gasses, the presence of acetylene provides indication of a certain existing serious fault, not a developing issue such as overheating.
Acense has licensed the technology underlying the sensor from the University of Toledo, which has a patent pending. Dr. Abdul-Majeed Azad of the University of Toledo invented the technology. The prototype sensor is being built and tested at Essential Research, Inc. an independent semiconductor laboratory.