Dec 2015
Electricity Transmission
Transformer Intrascope Phase 2
Dec 2015
Jan 2019
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission
Peter Taddei, Joe McNeil
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Network Innovation Allowance
ET - New technologies and commercial evolution
Asset Management
This project seeks to improve upon and overcome the limitations of the phase 1 design to allow for better access, physical range, positional control and visual imaging capability, whilst accepting any improvements that can also be made to spectroscopic measurements. The scope of the project is to have a fully refined, assembled and functional intrascope probe system which has been both mechanically and functionally proven within a laboratory-based environment and via field trials.

This will be achieved by making the following developments to the Intrascope toolkit;

  • Implementing alternative articulation methods of the intrascope for improved reach and control
  • Selecting an improved visual imaging camera and light source for long range visibility within a transformer
  • Redesign of the Intrascope delivery system in conjunction with the improved articulation to ease of deployment

On completion of field trials an inspection procedure will be created to determine the optimal inspection requirements and methods along with an effective way of storing and presenting findings from the inspection. Once the system has been assembled in a laboratory environment and gone through initial functional and mechanical testing, it will be trialled on a range of available transformers. Refinements will also be made to both the hardware and software based on the learning obtained from this test phase.

The objectives of the project will aim to provide:

1.  An imaging system that:
a) Has a working distance capability from a few centimetres to a couple of metres with controlled field of view and magnification.
b) Allows for the attenuation, scatter, and shading of the oil on at least a semi-automatic basis to yield true colour images.

2. A delivery system that:
a) Can be introduced through a single top entry plate (or valve) and provide access to the bottom of the tie rods.
b) Has an intuitive guidance system that can be used by relatively untrained engineers.
c) Has sufficient flexibility and control to manoeuvre the tip to otherwise inaccessible locations in the tank.

3. An optimal inspection procedure that:
a) Determines and documents the best practices for using the inspection probe.
b) Documents, stores and presents inspection findings in an easily understandable format.

4. A business case that:
a) Demonstrates if the system will have value and relative priority compared to alternative initiatives.

The project will be deemed as successful if the items in the methodology are met and the TRL level is increased to TRL 9; or if the project clearly shows that this methodology is not suitable for full scale deployment.