Jul 2016
Electricity Transmission
Remote Asset INertial Monitoring & Alerting Network (RAINMAN)
Jul 2016
Mar 2020
Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Scottish Hydro Electric Transmission
Joe McNeil
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Network Innovation Allowance
Overhead Lines
The project will be executed in four phases. Phase 1 is a system design and feasibility study which progresses the maturity of the individual system components towards integration in an initial prototype. During Phase 1 there will be a specification and requirements exercise as well as parallel developments of the sensor, power supply, communications and software elements. A small number of prototype units will be installed at a SHE Transmission test facility for gathering and analysing data from transmission poles. The prototype units will likely use battery power and existing GPRS communications rather than wait for the conclusion of the parallel developments. Phase 1 will take 3 months. Phase 2 will be a small scale technology demonstration of the system. The individual system components from Phase 1 will be integrated and installed at a suitable test facility where a simulated real world deployment will be carried out. Several iterations of testing and refinement are expected using results from the simulated deployment. Phase 2 will take 3 months. Phase 3 will take the technology to TRL8 by building, deploying and testing a large number (i.e. hundreds) of pole mounted devices on a real network. A section of the Skye trident line has been nominated for this exercise due to the age of the wood poles deployed and the challenging environment for both exposure to harsh weather conditions and for wireless communications testing. Ekkosense will provide the low power wide area network infrastructure and the application server needed to support the trial. SHE Transmission will arrange for the installation of the pole mounted devices. Phase 3 is scheduled to last for a full year. Phase 4 moves the proven technology from TRL8 to TRL9, addressing the steps needed to allow adoption as business as usual. Learning from phase 3 will lead to a number of refinements to each of the system components. Additional tasks will include full SCADA connectivity and integration, EMC compliance testing and cost reduction of the sensor for mass production and volume deployment.

• Define system requirements
• Conduct a feasibility study to prove that the concept is sound
• Develop pole movement sensors and demonstrate functionality
• Develop an autonomous power supply for pole mounted sensors and demonstrate functionality
• Apply a low power wide area wireless communication system to sensors and demonstrate functionality
• Develop software based analytics and an application server and demonstrate functionality
• Devise and demonstrate a safe and cost effective method for installing sensors on wood poles
• Advance system performance following business requirements criteria in simulated scenarios
• Evaluate system performance against business requirements criteria in a real world installation
• Document all results, conclusions and recommendations
• Provide a documented conclusion from a proven cost benefits analysis
• Evaluate project outcomes for possible adoption by BAU

The project success criteria:

1) Whether or not the Ekkosense sensors and the associated software analytics can provide timely, reliable and accurate warnings of wood pole movements or failure2) Whether or not a reliable, resilient autonomous power supply can be developed for low power pole mounted devices3) Whether or not a low power wide area wireless communications network can be made to function reliably for telemetry in a hostile, rural environment