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Remote condition monitoring and maintenance of power lines

Joints in high-voltage overhead lines are critical components that, if they fail, can lead to line breaks and power outages.

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Currently, there is no effective method for monitoring the condition of such line joints. Due to a lack of knowledge about their technical condition, thousands of line joints have been replaced in Norway in recent decades, likely being in good condition. Furthermore, the replacement of joints and most other maintenance and repair tasks on high-voltage overhead lines require the line to be taken out of service, personnel to work at height , and often incur significant expenses for helicopter rental.

The project aims to develop a remotely controlled equipment platform capable of traversing overhead lines. This platform will be equipped with devices for condition monitoring of line joints using a newly developed method that sends electrical pulses through the joint. The platform should also be capable of carrying X-ray equipment for examining lines, joints, and other components. Additionally, it will have remotely controlled manipulator arms for replacing spacers, protective spirals, vibration dampers, and other installations on the line.

Systematic investigations will be conducted on a few hundred line joints in service in the Norwegian grid. This will provide new and improved knowledge about the condition, remaining lifetime, and aging mechanisms of these types of components. Such information enables the reduction of maintenance costs while simultaneously improving reliability.

Project partners:

This is an Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector partly funded by the Research Council of Norway.


Key Factors

Project duration

2021 - 2025

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