UK Power Networks, Eastern Power Networks and South Eastern Power Networks
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Network Innovation Allowance
ED - Network improvements and system operability
Asset Management, Conductors, Modelling and Overhead Lines
UK Power Networks has over 24,000 km (comprising of over 280,000 spans) of HV overhead line conductors on its distribution network but holds limited information regarding their age and condition. Conductors are visually assessed from the ground, during routine full patrols, every twelve years. However, there is engineering consensus that visual assessments alone are not sufficient to determine the condition of overhead line conductors, since they only correctly assess the condition of conductors when deterioration of the conductor is at an advance stage and evidence of the deterioration is evident through stranding or bird-caging (deformation of strands) of the conductor. As a result, the existing replacement strategy on HV OHL conductors is reactive (apart from load related reinforcement), and HV OHL conductors are replaced when they have failed (post-fault repair). In UK Power Networks, faults on the HV overhead line conductors represent approx. 15% of the HV faults volume per annum. These faults result in Customer Interruptions (CIs) and Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs) affecting the quality of supply and the overall experience of the consumers.
The objectives of this project include:
1. Developing and performing a set of tests which test the mechanical, structural and electrical parameters of the OHL samples.
2. Calculation of the deterioration rate and expected end of life for HV overhead line conductors.
3. Development of an algorithm that determines the condition and expected end of life for HV overhead conductors based on a set of attributes (e.g. age, location, size).