Polesight (NIA_NPG_ 036)
The Foresight Project (2017-2021) has developed equipment and methods aimed at finding and fixing LV cable faults, on underground circuits fed from ground mounted substations, before they fail. The project has produced a dataset from a fleet of low-cost detectors that is being used to provide health index information for LV underground cable circuits, which are of use in both the areas of Asset Management and Operational Network Management. Asset health is derived from waveform signatures captured by the detectors. Most of the signatures captured are associated with events on the cable networks that ‘self-heal’ before protection operates (so-called pre-fault events). Once a level of criticality has been reached, additional equipment is then deployed to determine the source of the pre-fault activity and therefore the location of the developing fault. When located, positive proactive action can be taken to ameliorate the impact of unplanned supply interruptions with concomitant improvement in network performance indices and customer satisfaction.
Ground mounted substations feeding underground cable networks tend to serve urban customers whereas rural customers are served by a large proportion of pole mounted substations and LV overhead lines (LV OHLs). Typically rural customers are more poorly served than urban customers in terms of Customer Minutes Lost (CMLs) and Customer Interruptions (CIs). Customer expectations of more reliable rural and mixed networks are likely to grow, making it increasingly important to improve visibility and management of the LV network, creating a need for better and faster fault location and restoration.
Polesight seeks to trial pole mounted monitoring equipment both to explore the ease of installation of the equipment, the robustness and effectiveness of the equipment, and whether pre-faults exist and can be detected on LV OHLs. Whilst the scope of the equipment quantities being deployed (20 devices) is small the analysis will be supplemented by data collected from ground mounted devices deployed outside the trial on mixed underground cable / LV OHL networks where it is though that pre-fault conditions are arising on the LV OHL sections.
Timescales: March 2021 - March 2024