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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_UKPN0025
Title Overhead Line Assessments Using Panoramic Images
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
Eastern Power Networks plc
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 July 2017
End Date 01 January 2018
Duration 6 months
Total Grant Value £165,550
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , Eastern Power Networks plc (99.998%)
  Other Investigator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.001%)
Project Contact , South Eastern Power Networks plc (0.001%)
Web Site http://www.smarternetworks.org/project/NIA_UKPN0025
Objectives The objectives of the project are to: Verify that the there is sufficient "coverage" of UK Power Networks’ operational areas by Google Street View to be able to carry out OHL assessments remotely; Verify that the images from Google Street View images are of sufficient quality to carry out condition assessments remotely; Develop a replicable methodology to assess overhead lines using Google Street View images; To demonstrate that this approach is a cost-effective approach when compared to other traditional methods for overhead line assessments (foot patrols, helicopter patrols etc. ); and To demonstrate that 360 degree images can be captured on site in a cost effective way. The following will be considered when assessing whether the project has been successful: Greater than 40% coverage of UK Power Networks’ Overhead line assets using Google Street View (Note: this is entirely dependent on Google street view images being available for UK Power Network’s pole positions);Of the pole supports and spans identifiable through Google Street View, greater than 50% of images have been taken within the last six years; Good image quality of 360 degree images captured on site by a third party; and Development of a map interface tool to enable user(s) to carry out OHL assessments from a desktop
Abstract UK Power Networks currently has approximately 700,000 wood pole supports for overhead lines on its network. These pole supports and their associated spans are inspected periodically to observe their condition and to identify any safety risks. These inspections are mainly carried out by foot patrol and in certain circumstances by helicopter. In an effort to innovate and utilise existing technologies, UK Power Networks is looking to carry out a proof of concept to use Google Street View images to carry out safety inspections on overhead line assets, as an alternative to foot patrols and helicopter patrols. This will be supported by use of a third party to capture sample 360-degree (panoramic) images where Google Street View is unavailable. Successful completion of the project and implementation as "business-as-usual" will yield the following benefits:; Provide UK Power Networks with the ability to assess overhead line assets remotely (desktop assessments);; Reduce unit costs of overhead line safety inspections and overall overhead line inspections costs;; Improve completion rates (achievements) for planned safety inspections each year;; Give UK Power Networks the flexibility to assess OHL/poles or spans between inspection cycles at minimal costs. It will also ensure that UK Power Networks has up-to-date OHL assessment records whenever Google Street View images are updated; Reduce UK Power Networks’ carbon footprint by reducing the amount of travel required for inspections; Improve accuracy of asset records e. g. grid references for Lidar patrol inputs; and; Set the foundation for continuous improvement i.e. improved operational efficiencies, reduced costs etc. This project will be carried out in conjunction with OniGroup (a Google for work partner) and Captura (a surveying and inspections company). The approach will be to determine whether Google Street View images exist for at least 40% of UK Power Networks’ 700,000 pole positions (grid reference, or longitude and latitude), determine the image quality on a sample set of poles and, if satisfied with the volume and quality of Street View images available, build an interface for desktop inspections. To cater for locations where Street View images do not exist, UK Power Networks will utilise Captura to trial a methodology to capture 360-degree images via on-site surveys using Captura’s backpack solution. The project will be completed in two parts; additional details for both parts of the project are given below. Part 1 - Use readily available Google Street View panoramic images to carry out desktop assessments of OHLs Stage One: Identify if Street View images are available for UK Power Networks poles OniGroup will implement a process of running static Google Street View images to identify if images are available for each of UK Power Networks 700,000 poles. All successful "hits" will be returned to UK Power Networks. The project would need to be able to obtain Google Street View images for at least 40% of the poles that were returned as successful "hits" to be able to proceed with the second stage. In addition, OniGroup will carry out a sample assessment on 300 available Google Street View images (for UK Power Networks poles) selected at random. This assessment will enable assessment of the quality of the Street View images and prove the concept of using Street View images for desktop assessments. During this assessment OniGroup will:- Run the 300 Google Street View Images through the Vision API;- Return the images with Pole ID and Street View year; and- Provide the additional data in a spreadsheet format with the following: Clear image; Obscured by vegetation; and No pole visible. Stage Two: Build an interface for inspections If the criteria are met from the first stage i.e. the project can obtain Street View images for at least 40% of the UK Power Networks pole population and that the images are of sufficient quality, the project will proceed with stage two, which will be to build an interface for inspections. The interface will allow users to carry out desktop assessment of poles including the following functionality:; Ability to select a pole/overhead line circuit from a dropdown list and by search functionality;; Clicking on the pole/circuit in the dropdown list will take the user to a Street View or 360 degree image of the pole (so that user can pan around the pole to inspect it); and; A pop-up box on the screen to allow the user to record the condition assessments. Part 2 - Utilise the services of a third party (Captura) to provide 360 panoramic images of OHL poles/spans (where there is no Google coverage) at lower costs than traditional methods Captura’s technology is a 360-degree camera system that can be fitted to a backpack unit, which allows the operator to walk and capture 360-degree images and GPS location of their position. This part of the project will include an initial field trial feasibility study, comprising of a selection of walk-bys of OHL assets collecting 360 photo images and then processing into Street View web-Player datasets. The aim of this part of the project is to capture wood poles on different overhead line construction types. Captura would take a sample circuit of approximately 300 poles that have a mixture of main lines, spur lines and LV network. On completion of the Project Captura will provide a Project report on the field trial results together with recommendations for image capture improvements and any Street View Player enhancements. Key steps: On-site surveys: - Approximately 300 poles (sample selection of OHL sections at different locations, different voltage; and- Test inspection methodology and capture panoramic images. ; Customise existing online portal; Upload inspection images to customised online portal and or provide file outputs for use in UK Power Networks systems (Geospatial tool, NETMAP or other); Desktop assessments; and; Validation of cost of methodology.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 09/10/18