Mar 2013
Electricity Distribution
Sensor Networks (Smart Dust) Phase 2
IFI 0507
Mar 2013
SP Energy Networks
SP Energy Networks Innovation
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Innovation Funding Incentive
Comms & IT
Smartdust is a concept developed by the University of California that is based on a self-configuring wireless sensor network, capable of transmitting low bandwidth information in a series of short hops. Data acquired and transmitted from sensors is relayed through a gateway for data interpretation. SPEN led a feasibility study into the use of this technology for detecting the passage of fault currents on 11kV overhead line networks.

Following on from this work, a collaborative project has been scoped between EDF Energy, Central Networks and SPEN to develop a product based on this principle for the remote signalling of fault passage indication on Overhead networks.

A cheap and reliable method of collection of fault passage indication data in a centralised location for overhead line faults would significantly reduce the time required to resolve faults on the network and consequently reduce Customer Minutes Lost (CML) associated penalties. This technology would be especially suited to transitory fault location.