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Reference Number NIA_ENWL009
Title Cable Health Assessment - Low Voltage
Status Completed
Energy Categories OTHER POWER and STORAGE TECHNOLOGIES(Electricity transmission and distribution) 100%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY (Electrical and Electronic Engineering) 100%
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 100%
Principal Investigator Project Contact
No email address given
Electricity North West Limited
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source ENA Smarter Networks
Start Date 01 November 2015
End Date 01 November 2018
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £2,750,000
Industrial Sectors Power
Region North West
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Electricity North West Limited (100.000%)
Web Site
Objectives ; Develop low cost technology which can be used to define the condition of the low voltage cable network. ; Develop BAU support services to allow wide scale deployment. ; Develop the data processing and modelling necessary to allow inclusion in the CBRM framework. ; Installation of hardware at a number of distribution substations (expected to be up to 500). ; Run a live trial of the new models and associated support services. ; Produce all the necessary documentation (specs and models) to allow adoption by other Network Operators. 1. Production of hardware and backend data processing technologies. 2. Production of the relevant processes and models to allow LV cable condition to be included in the CBRM framework. 3. Development of a BAU operating model to allow wide scale deployment. 4. Production of the CBRM methodology, specifications and codes of practice to permit replication.
Abstract Low Voltage cables represent a significant proportion of the Electricity North West asset base, yet there is little availability of data to permit asset condition assessment (a corner stone of our long term asset intervention strategy) and hence asset risk to the Company. Electricity North West uses the Condition Based Risk Management (CBRM) system to assess the condition of many of our assets. This assessment is based on an assessment of the likely condition from the age, environment and duty of an asset and then modifies this through use of various data sets to provide an estimate of the probability of failure. In order for an asset to be assessed in this manner there needs to be a collection of appropriate input data which reflects the asset’s current condition and the trend or movement in that condition over the medium long term. In the case of solidly insulated cables in general and Low Voltage cables specifically, data is not presently widely available. Existing methods require the destructive testing of the cable (generally through cable sampling) and analysis of the condition of the cable’s components to determine if a level of degradation can be determined. This results in disruption to customers and stakeholders alike and is often costly owing to the excavation of footways and roads. An alternative to intrusive destructive testing of cables would be to develop a measuring device to collect measurements from in service cables over a long time period and use this data to determine condition. This device will need to provide results which accurately assess the comparative condition of the cable and its movement over time in comparison to similar assets. As most new connections are provided in some manner from existing low voltage cable networks the ability to determine the relative health of the asset prior to connection will provide network operators with improved measures of the cable reliability under higher loading conditions and hence will permit targeted intervention on the associated asset. This assessment of the cable condition will therefore replace the current process of "fix on fail" and hence provide improved customer service to all customers. The project will be split into six phases: Phase 1 - Develop additional knowledge of cable degradation using LV cable test facilities at Kelvatek and will be used to ultimately develop a monitoring device with sufficient bandwidth to detect and measure cable condition. This R&D product development phase will result in a specification for a sensor (and trial units) which can be fitted to the busbar without the need for a shutdown. The monitoring device will consist of 4 voltage probes (L1, L2, L3 and N, and 3 current sensors) and sampling rates will likely > 1M samples per second per channel. The monitoring device will enable network operators to begin to develop an understanding of the condition of the LV network. Subject to the information recorded and the post processing the network operator may decide to install the next layer of data capture devices in the form of fault management technology which provide much higher bandwidth such as the Weezaps on each of the LV feeders in order to capture specific waveforms with a view to developing a proactive response. Phase 2 - Develop the necessary backend data processing and modelling required allowing LV cable condition data to be used within the current CBRM framework. This will allow network operators to assign Health Indices to its low voltage cables and associated networks. The analysis algorithms will be used to provide a health assessment and relative ranking between monitored cables. Phase 3a - This phase will deploy and collect data from the hardware at approximately 500 substations ensuring that the sites selected cover a variety of factors including cable type, age, environment and load. The project will look to include areas with new Low Carbon Technology loads. Phase 3b - Development of additional support services and business processes for cable system management. This phase will build upon earlier work with the existing Fault Support Centre model to allow for the inclusion of the intelligence obtained, combined with GIS cable data and other DNO sources of cable history, to provide services to analyse data returned from field devices, and to convert this data into actionable information that provides business value. These services enable rapid scaling to business as usual. Phase 4 - This phase will be a six month live trial of the assessment tool within the business supported via the additional support services developed in phase 3b. Phase 5 - This phase will produce all the documentation required to facilitate adoption within other DNOs and transfer to Business as Usual including the new CBRM HI methodology for cables, data requirements and specifications.Note : Project Documents may be available via the ENA Smarter Networks Portal using the Website link above
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 26/04/18