The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced a $732,493 grant to Infravision Pty Ltd to develop, test, and trial their ‘Next Generation Line Monitoring System’ project to optimise grid performance. It will install on selected transmission lines in Transgrid’s New South Wales (NSW) network by delivering faster, safer, and more cost-effective drone-enabled line enhancements to existing electrical infrastructure.
Most transmission operators currently use static line ratings. Without knowledge of the actual environmental conditions affecting the line, these ratings make conservative assumptions to ensure that lines operate safely at all times. Transmission operators can determine when it is safe to despatch higher volumes of electricity on existing infrastructure by calculating Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) using real-time, real-world conditions.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller said:
“The electricity transition is going to require the 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.”
“Infravision is a great example of an Australian startup providing practical solutions to unlocking a higher penetration of renewable generation sooner, which can be applicable to the NEM and other electricity networks across the world.”
Infravision is an Australian technology start-up accelerating power grid modernisation in Australia, the United States of America, and other emerging markets through drone-enabled power line upgrades.
Transgrid Executive General Manager of Network Marie Jordan said: “This is clever technology which provides real-time data we can use to ensure transmission lines are operating as effectively as possible for consumers.
“This system enables us to receive data in real-time, which can be used to calculate a Dynamic Line Rating to determine if more electricity can be dispatched along a line in favourable conditions when it’s safe to do so.”
Infravision will deploy, test, and improve a fleet of Next Generation sensors on the New South Wales transmission network to provide Transgrid with high-fidelity data on selected lines. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) identified $12.7 billion in new transmission projects needed to support the transition to renewable energy over the next decade in the 2022 Integrated System Plan.
Product development for Infravision’s line monitoring system is underway, with Infravision intending to deploy the first sensor units later this year.
Transgrid partners with Infravision to restore the snowy mountains bushfires
Transgrid has completed bushfire repairs in one of the most challenging parts of NSW with help from above, thanks to drone technology supplied.
Drones were utilised to help conduct the restringing of transmission lines near Tumut in the Snowy Mountains as part of the 2019-2020 bushfire repairs.
Utilising Infravision’s fully electric TX Drone Stringing Systems, Transgrid repair teams were able to quickly assess fire-damaged 330kV transmission infrastructure and restring specific fire-damaged transmission conductors.
Using the new stringing methods resulted in significant cost savings and reduced outage windows and worker risk in extremely difficult terrain. It eliminated the need for a full rebuild of damaged transmission lines.
Transgrid’s early investment in developing and fostering safe, efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly drone stringing technology is paying dividends for Transgrid and the entire National Electricity Market.
Infravision TX system: Unmanned aircraft
The Next Generation Line Monitoring System project consists of the Infravision TX system. A drone sensor stack can be installed on transmission lines to provide real-time information about the microclimate, such as temperature, wind speed and direction, and any conductor sagging.
Infravision is a Civil Aviation Safety Authority-certified company in Australia. Our teams are working worldwide to bring certified stringing solutions with TX System.
Infravision is installing line hardware on overhead earth wires and conductors using unmanned aircraft. This allows our customers to reduce risk and costs by up to 67% significantly.
Eliminate the need for workers to be at heights: no helicopters, no bucket trucks, less interaction with infrastructure and dangerous activities.
Tension string line over existing vegetation, removing the need for an unnecessary right-of-way clearing.
With a scalable number of TX systems, on-site productivity can better any traditional method and align with production schedules no matter how demanding.
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