Oct 2012
Electricity Transmission
Enhanced Sensor Development (ICASE Award)
Oct 2012
Oct 2016
National Grid Electricity Transmission and National Grid Gas Transmission
Carl Johnstone
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Network Innovation Allowance
Asset Management
This project will target the development of a flexible energy harvesting wireless sensor network (EHWSN) which is capable of monitoring a range of parameters. The initial sensor nodes will be designed to be retrofitted to a standard NG pipeline marker post and employ a range of sensors that are primarily focused on monitoring the immediate soil/environmental conditions adjacent to the pipeline corridor.

The network nodes and control software will be developed to harmonise the energy harvesting requirements with the provision of reliable data platform improving its quality and easing interpretation. EHWSN could provide a widespread monitoring capability for National Grid, and the development of a network capability to ensure robustness in the event of hub failures or the need to add new nodes are seen as a key requirements and the concepts behind these requirements will be developed.

The EHWSN iCASE will provide an in service demonstration of the suitability of the energy harvesting sensor technology but it will also provide the guidelines for future expansion of this technology into a wide ranging monitoring network.

Sensor development, employing the latest advances in optical attenuation reducing techniques, will offer improved performance of plastic optical fibres. While these sensors require laser sources and are thus not initially considered suitable for energy harvesting modules, they offer large distinct long range (>100m) monitoring capability which will have applicability across a number of areas of NG’s asset infrastructure.

The project will be developing a range of sensitised fibres which have some cross over with the EHWSN programme which will, in the main, use short range sensors and will benefit considerably from the development of sensors with improved detection and lower energy requirements.

The programme will demonstrate the capability of a remote pipeline asset monitoring hub incorporating energy harvesting and low power sensor techniques.

This work will give National Grid a significant practical and theoretical understanding of low energy sensors and energy harvesting techniques. These techniques are envisaged to have a wide range of potential applications across National Grid’s asset infrastructure.