Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, Scottish Hydro Electric Power Distribution and Southern Electric Power Distribution
SSEN Future Networks Team
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Network improvements and system operability, ED - Safety and health and environment
Health and Safety
Under IFI project 2014_08 Monitoring of Conductors and Poles, a prototype sensor system, comprising line mounted sensors, and a communications system was developed to operate on overhead lines up to 11kV. This project will take that work further to produce a production ready system. The newly developed sensors will be encased within environmental protective cases, and are powered by solar panel, which trickle charges a backup battery within the case. They will then be installed on overhead lines in several areas of the distribution network and left for an extended period of time to determine the suitability for use, in terms of effect on the installed infrastructure, ability to withstand weather events, and ability to maintain power on during the winter months.Connections to the SCADA system will be made and tested.
The project will:
1) Prove whether the production prototypes produced will survive winter months when mounted on live overhead lines;
2) Determine whether there is any sign of degradation to the wires where the sensors are mounted;
3) Will indicate whether there is any sign of vegetation encroachment onto the overhead line network;
4) Prove whether, or not, the sensors can communicate quickly and effectively with the SCADA system;
5) Provide an indication that non vegetation objects have collided with an overhead line or pole, examples would be poles moving due to soft ground, line collisions by raised farm trailers or forestry vehicles;
6) Determine the viability of deploying the sensor system as an alternative to replacing sections of overhead line with underground cabling.
The project will be a success if:
- It can be confirmed whether or not the system is able to detect the collision between the overhead wires and trees, branches and/or farm, forestry, or construction vehicles, on live lines.
- It can be confirmed whether or not the sensors, and communication system can withstand the effects of the weather on the system;
- It can be confirmed whether or not the mounting of the sensors will have a deleterious effect on the overhead lines;
- It has determined if and when the sensor system is a viable alternative to replacing an overhead line with underground cabling.