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We're getting smart with our navigating

If you’re in the West Midlands and pay lots of attention to our overhead network, you might notice new bits of equipment on our lines.

Engineer adding a smart navigator to overhead electricity power lines

Engineer adding smart navigator to overhead electricity power linesThey’re called smart navigators and they help give us real-time visibility of network operation.

This includes information about directional power flows, the direction of fault currents along feeders, voltage presence detection for short-term interruption assessments and line temperature, which will feed into assessments of post-fault ratings.

Innovation and Low Carbon Networks Engineer Steven Pinkerton-Clark said: “The changing way our network is being used, with more distributed generation, is extremely positive for environmental sustainability but presents challenges for network operations teams.

“It is currently difficult to capture data from overhead networks and because planning has always taken place on ‘worst-case’ assumptions there could be unused capacity. The devices will also help pinpoint faults and automatically record auto-recloser operations.”

Gaining more real-time information about power flows on the network is one of the key changes we need to make as we move towards being a distribution system operator (DSO). It will also help to enable carbon savings as we will be able to fully use the available capacity of overhead lines.

The smart navigators are being developed in collaboration with Nortech Management in our £1.3m Power Pointer trial.

Tagged under
  • DSO/Smart Networks