The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced a grant of $732,493 to Infravision Pty Ltd to develop, test and trial their ‘Next Generation Line Monitoring System’ to optimise electrical transmission grid performance.
This innovation, delivering faster, safer and more cost-efficient drone-enabled line enhancements to electrical infrastructure, is an added feature to Infravision’s TX System for line aerial stringing.
Infravision’s line monitoring technology consists of a sensor stack that can be installed by drone on transmission lines to provide real time microclimatic data which can unlock additional transmission line capacity.
This data can be used to calculate a Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) that provides a more accurate and responsive measurement of transmission capacity, allowing higher volumes of electricity to be safely dispatched when conditions are suitable.
Safe line capacity can be affected by wind, temperature and nearby vegetation.
Line sag caused by hot weather or high energy flows can cause cables to hang lower than usual, bringing them closer to trees and urban infrastructure that may be located below.
Infravision is an Australian technology start-up accelerating power grid modernisation with drone-enabled power line upgrades in Australia, the United States of America and other emerging markets.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the Next Generation DLR solution could reduce the need for new transmission infrastructure and help accelerate the electricity transition.
Miller said: “The electricity transition is going to require new generation and transmission on a massive scale. Infravision’s integrated Dynamic Line Rating solution can help get the most out of existing transmission lines.
“Allowing an increased flow of electricity through existing assets reduces the need for new infrastructure, keeping down costs for consumers and network operators.”
Currently, most transmission operators use static line ratings that use make conservative assumptions to ensure that lines operate safely at all times, without knowledge of actual environmental conditions.
By calculating DLR using real-time, real-world conditions, transmission operators will be able to determine when it is safe to dispatch higher volumes of electricity on existing infrastructure.
The project will see Infravision deploy, test and enhance a fleet of Next Generation sensors on the New South Wales transmission network to provide Transgrid with high fidelity data on selected lines. In the 2022 Integrated System Plan, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) identified $12.7 billion of new transmission projects required to underpin the transition to renewable energy over the next decade.
Product development for Infravision’s line monitoring system is currently underway, with Infravision planning to instal the first sensor units later this year.