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Reference Number NIA_SPEN0006
Title Mini-Mole
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
SP Energy Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source ENA Smarter Networks
Start Date 01 April 2015
End Date 01 September 2018
Duration 41 months
Total Grant Value £544,555
Industrial Sectors Power
Region Scotland
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , SP Energy Networks (100.000%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/NIA_SPEN0006
Objectives The objectives for the project for each WP include W. P 1 -Initial technology trials and development phase To evaluate and review technology, highlighting potential changes that would have to be implemented to ensure Mini-Mole is a realistic solution for LV applications Evaluate the potential benefits this technology could have and its application for DNOs W. P 2 - Onsite testing and review of existing methods and technology Successful product development and FAT / SAT testing To evaluate and quantify the volume of projects where this technology could be used. The development of a methodology for use, including evaluating and developing all safety and procedural requirements. W. P 3- Development of prototype units Development of a fit for use ‘Mini-Mole’ prototype unit W. P 4 - Integration into BaU To deliver the necessary business changes, documentation etc. required to facilitate ‘ Mini-Mole adoption prior to the end of this project. Upon completion of the work packages the following success criteria has been highlighted. The delivery of a viable alternative to traditional open cut trenching for LV cable applications. Quantified comparisons of current methods compared to using Mini-Mole.
Abstract Renewing and upgrading underground Low Voltage (LV) Cables and Service connections can be a costly and time consuming activity that is also disruptive to customers. The conventional DNO approach for this activity is to carry out open cut trenching to lay cables, whilst this is often the best solution in certain circumstances this approach can significantly increase costs and inconvenience to customers. For example, laying cables up driveways that consist of ornate or decorative paving leads to increased excavation and reinstatement costs, ties up resources from front line activities and causes a greater disruption to the customer. This civil challenge is likely to increase with smart meter enabling works and our social obligation to prioritise our vulnerable communities. Whilst the merits and risks associated with conventional open cut trenching are understood, there still remains a risk to field operators, pedestrians and customers in their proximity. Any alternative approaches that minimise this risk would deliver societal benefits worth pursuing. This project aims to develop a miniature / portable directional drill excavation unit which would allow it to be a less disruptive, cost effective safer solution to conventional open cut trenching for LV and Service cabling. SPEN has worked closely with Tracto Technik (TT), and one of our services and internal mains contractors, IQA Group, to create a ‘Mini-Mole’ that can be applied in limited space without complication. The R&D phase completed during the IFI 1417 Keyhole Trenchless Technologies project, will be manufactured into a full scale working prototype and extensively trialled to establish the benefit of the technique over conventional excavation methods for a variety of typical jobs. The project has been designed to create a safer, less disruptive and more resource efficient way for the business to carry out the repair and replacement of LV and Service cables.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 10/09/18