Remote sensor monitoring specialist, EkkoSense, has teamed up with electricity network provider, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN), to trial an early warning sensor design. This software could allow power companies to predict storm damage before it happens.
The initial trial will take place on the Isle of Skye this spring.
EkkoSense's solution combines three key technologies: an Internet of Things (IoT) sensor, LoRa long-range wireless communications, and solar power - all of which will help detect when a power pole leans further than it should in high winds. The device communicates the need for maintenance before any further damage causes it to collapse.
Stewart Reid, Head of Future Networks at Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks said: “Our network is designed to cope with the most extreme weather and any innovation that can deliver an early warning to help ensure we continue to provide a safe and secure electricity supply to our customers is welcomed.”
Dr. Stu Redshaw. Chief Technology Officer at EkkoSense, adds: “This is a great application of technologies that we have been developing for several years. For SSEN our IoT sensors will monitor the angle and stability of the wooden poles. This data will then be analysed on an EkkoSoft monitoring platform that applies complex algorithms to decide if a threshold has been breached and an alarm should be raised.
"These alarms are relayed automatically to SSEN who determine the correct course of action when a pole ‘tilts’ or ‘moves’. In short, we should know when a wooden pole is weak or unstable and action its replacement/repair ahead of it falling in a storm and disrupting the power supply.”