Over 12000 Megawatt of generation capacity suffers from unidentified faults that occur in its transmission lines due to the accumulation of dust and moisture on the insulator strings. IEC carries out costly routine washing operations using helicopters and their direct effectiveness is hard to measure. As a result they need to improve power quality and reduce the overall cost on washing operations by directing the washing teams to the contaminated poles.
IEC supplies over 12000 Megawatt of generation capacity. The power utility is suffering from unidentified faults that occur in its transmission lines due to the accumulation of dust and pollution on the insulator strings. The company carried out routine washing operations using helicopters that are costly and whose direct effectiveness is hard to measure. IEC wishes to increase power quality and to reduce its overall expense on washing operation by precisely directing the washing teams to the contaminated poles and also wants to view in real-time the reduction of contamination on each washed pole.
IEC has installed the MetrySense4000 system to monitor over 100km of high voltage 161kV and 400kV transmission lines. The smart sensors connect via Metrycom’s proprietary mesh radio system to a server where engineers are able to monitor in real-time the evolution of contamination on insulator strings. They can the direct the washing operation to the contaminated poles and consequently reduce the number of power interruptions and also save many hours of helicopter operation. During the washing operation the system can focus on the specific line segment being washed and measures in real-time the reduction of dry-band-arcing (partial discharges) which are directly correlated to the reduction in contamination on the insulator string. As a result of the success of the system, IEC has extended the deployment of the system in order to cover the majority of its pollution prone transmission lines throughout the utility’s high voltage grid.