Smart Asset Management - Energy Harvesting Technology for Self-Powering Condition Monitoring Sensors
National Grid Electricity System Operator
National Grid TO Innovation Team
Click here to send a question to the contact.
Innovation Funding Incentive
This project addresses the area of substation data collection systems required for
operational and condition monitoring over short range communication links.
Self powered sensors are required for the deployment of plant and system
monitoring functions at remote substation locations. These sensors could simply
and efficiently collect data from difficult locations where the value of the data
collected does not justify the provisioning of permanent data and power cabling.
The project supports other research and initiatives in energy storage and wireless
substation communications to provide an easy to install and low maintenance data
The project has the following aims and objectives:
- The aim is to develop the power supply technology for energy harvesting for selfpowering
condition monitoring sensors.
- Investigate and develop energy harvesting devices based on capacitive / inductive
coupling with the electromagnetic fields present in electricity transmission
- Intention is to produce a generic device capable of powering substation light
current equipment such as active sensors that monitor the status, health and
condition of electrical plant.
- Most likely uses of such power is to enable short-distance wireless data transfer to
enable monitoring of a wide range of parameters using safe, low-cost, unobtrusive
Condition monitoring and asset management processes are increasingly capable
of being automated through intelligent software. Consequently, it is increasingly
necessary to obtain data from more diverse and larger numbers of sensors than
has previously been the case. To power those sensors, traditionally DC power
supply from substation battery systems has to be connected via cross-site-cables,
which often involve significant engineering work, also introduce additional risk of
Therefore, installation and maintenance of these sensors must involve the
minimum of labour, and removing the need for cables and batteries is a key aspect
of “fit and forget” functionality. It is likely that the eventual cost of the sensors (once
integrated) will become so low that they become effectively disposable. Robust
monitoring will be further bolstered if the sensors are cheap enough to install with a
level of redundancy for extra security.