IoT for Infrastructures monitoring

CUSTOMER: Energy Operators

IoT monitoring system for energy distribution networks

The Scenario

Power transmission lines are a key asset for the country. They often cross impervious areas and are subjected to extreme environmental conditions such as high winds and very low temperatures. Increasing the ability to monitor and control these infrastructures allows anticipating the onset of problems and helps to carry out faster and more effective remedial actions.

The challenge

There is a need to develop an IoT system equipped with sensors, edge computing modules and monitoring data transmission, which is self-powered by renewable energy sources and ensures continuity of operation even in areas with low solar irradiation.

The environmental context hosting the infrastructures in question does not allow the use of existing equipment and standard operating modes, but the solution must comply with the structural constraints imposed in environments dedicated to the transport of high-voltage energy.

There are no detailed technological requirements, so there is a collaborative design activity to formalise the specifications of the optimal solution.

The solution

In order to meet this challenge, we involved the customer in a collaborative design process aimed at identifying innovative and sustainable technological and operational solutions. At the end of the course, we defined the specifications of the necessary technological elements, and then designed and built new electronic components and sensors to optimise the remote control of field systems. We also defined new installation techniques compatible with the impervious context provided by the challenge.

The final outcome of the work led to the design and realisation of an integrated system for the measurement, collection and real-time processing of operating data of high-voltage power lines consisting of:

  • A network of sensors to measure tension loads on power transmission lines and to detect abnormal behaviour in real time, including on pylon stability.
  • Collection and initial processing of field data through software modules optimised for an operating environment with maximised processing resources.
  • Advanced remote control capabilities of the systems to reduce the need for field interventions.
  • Data transmission, entrusted to a LORA network made of best-in-class components. The system handles data transmission via LTE as a backup.
  • Weather station to detect a wide range of environmental parameters.
  • Energy Station, which ensures power supply even in low irradiation conditions thanks to solar energy and accumulators.
  • Specific installation methods and specially manufactured materials.

The critical success factors of this project were many:

  • The collaborative way of working with the customer
  • The synergy between technology and domain experts
  • The strong collaboration between the Digital Solutions team and the Sirti Energia team

TECH TOUCH POINTS

  • Edge Computing
  • IoT
  • Lorawan
  • Energy Management
  • Asset Management
  • Analytics