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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number NIA_UKPN0031
Title Link Alert
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
UK Power Networks
Award Type Network Innovation Allowance
Funding Source Ofgem
Start Date 01 February 2018
End Date 01 February 2021
Duration ENA months
Total Grant Value £275,600
Industrial Sectors Power
Region London
Programme Network Innovation Allowance
Investigators Principal Investigator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (100.000%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , UK Power Networks (0.000%)
Web Site https://smarter.energynetworks.org/projects/NIA_UKPN0031
Objectives The project will test prototypes and then install into link boxes remote monitoring equipment that can detect increases in temperature, moisture, current and voltage. The devices will remotely send a signal if there is any change. This will enable proactive response to investigate potential issues before a failure occurs. The detailed project activities are as follows:1. Identification of site locations where sensors are to be installed: The plan is to target high risk areas with older link boxes for the trials in a variety of environments.2. Procurement: We will conduct an open tender to ask the market to demonstrate prototype devices. Products from selected bidders will be tested under controlled conditions that are not on a live network. 3. From the prototypes tested, we will select which one(s) will be developed and procured in numbers for a live network trial. 4. Install sensor systems at identified sites.5. Data gathering from trials and analysis of data. 6. Reporting: This will include internal and external reporting for reviewing and communicating progress on the project. This includes the NIA Annual Progress and the Close Down reports.7. Plan for business as usual rollout. Subject to the success of the trials, the rollout plan may include updating any policies and procedures relating to link box deployment as well as management of inspection and maintenance going forward. The project will install remote monitoring equipment into link boxes in a variety of environments, both urban and rural. It will include the monitoring and testing of both the sensor equipment and the communications platform. A 6-month trial period is proposed with appropriate review points to ensure it is progressing successfully. The project will include the development of appropriate documentation required for rollout if the trial is successful. A time and budget extension was approved in April 2020 to lengthen the trial period and incorporate more time for data analysis and project closedown. To maximise the learnings from the project, the trial will gather data through winter and summer periods. This is to gather enough information to determine appropriate recommendations for seasonal and/or dynamic alarms. The project objectives are two-fold:1. Reliably communicate with devices installed under the bell cover of link boxes in a variety of environments.2. Remotely monitor link boxes for abnormal running conditions and increases in temperature and moisture level.3. Develop fault passage indicators which can be interrogated without lifting the bell cover of a link box.
Abstract UK Power Networks have experienced disruptive link box failures over the last five years. Mitigations have been put in place to reduce the volume of these, and to limit the impact of this failure. However, there is more we could do to further reduce failures and we believe the root cause is high temperature and moisture ingress. In-situ monitoring of link boxes has not previously been conducted for a number of reasons, primarily because cost effective remote communications from link boxes has not been possible. This cost barrier has been compounded by the harsh environments link boxes are installed in with a lack of auxiliary supply and extremely poor radio reception. Due to this, link boxes require more frequent inspections than the majority of our assets which is expensive and resource-consuming. Having remote monitoring of link boxes will allow the time between inspections to be increased whilst concurrently improving the safety of the network.Communication with link boxes were demonstrated in previous projects (SULVN and FUN-LV). In these trials, there were a number of data communication issues. These included missing measurement data and incorrect current direction. We believe advances in technology and our learnings from these other projects will enable us to develop a solution with higher reliability.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 14/12/22