Apr 2015
Electricity Distribution
Mini-Mole
NIA_SPEN0006
Live
Apr 2015
Sep 2018
SP Energy Networks
Geoff Murphy, Nicol Gray, & Andy Wilcox
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Network Innovation Allowance
None
LV & 11kV Networks
£544,555.00
This project aims to deliver a safer, less disruptive and more resource efficient way of repairing and replacing LV and Service cables, so as to provide an improved service to our customers. The following work packages are intended to develop, trial, evaluate and rollout the Mini-Mole into BaU for UK DNOs:

W.P 1 – Initial technology trials and development phase (completed during IFI 1417 Keyhole Trenchless Technologies)

  • Review of existing miniature directional drilling excavation techniques and how applicable they are for LV application.

  • Understanding the changes that’s will have to be implemented to ensure that Mini-Mole can become a cost effective solution for these applications

W.P 2 – Onsite testing and review of existing methods and technology (partially completed during IFI 1417 Keyhole Trenchless Technologies)

  • Onsite testing and reviewing of bespoke unit

  • Establish baseline criteria where the Mini-Mole unit will offer increased savings against conventional open cut trenching techniques

W.P 3 – Development of prototype units

  • Successful modification of existing technology to fit with use case and requirements

  • Onsite trials in a variety of location to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of unit

  • Develop robust use case and tracking methodology

W.P 4 – Integration into BaU

  • If successful this WP will look identify all the requirements and recommendations for UK DNOs to adopt this technology as BaU

  • Review of the potential benefits Mini-Mole could offer UK DNOs

The objectives for the project for each WP include

W.P 1 –Initial technology trials and development phase

  • To evaluate and review technology, highlighting potential changes that would have to be implemented to ensure Mini-Mole is a realistic solution for LV applications
  • Evaluate the potential benefits this technology could have and its application for DNOs

 

W.P 2 – Onsite testing and review of existing methods and technology

  • Successful product development and FAT / SAT testing
  • To evaluate and quantify the volume of projects where this technology could be used.
  • The development of a methodology for use, including evaluating and developing all safety and procedural requirements.

W.P 3– Development of prototype units

  • Development of a fit for use ‘Mini-Mole’ prototype unit

W.P 4 – Integration into BaU

  • To deliver the necessary business changes, documentation etc. required to facilitate ‘Mini-Mole adoption prior to the end of this project.
Upon completion of the work packages the following success criteria has been highlighted.

  • The delivery of a viable alternative to traditional open cut trenching for LV cable applications.

  • Quantified comparisons of current methods compared to using Mini-Mole.