Innovative Mechanical System for Overhead Line Protection Challenge (£ 11K GBP)

overhead line protection

Help Scottish Power Energy Networks to find an innovative, portable and cost effective solution mechanical system to prevent powerline cables from falling over distribution lines.

Description

Scottish Power Energy Networks (SPEN) is an electricity transmission and distribution utility. SPEN guarantees the transmission and distribution of electricity from the generating point to the consumption point without interruptions and in the most efficient way. Also, SPEN plans manage and upgrade the electricity networks to meet current and future requirements. The networks are made of overhead lines, underground cables, and substations.

The Challenge

Reconducting in-place transmission overhead lines present a problem where a distribution overhead line crosses by below, taking the risk that the cable falls during the works. An accidental fall of the transmission line may cause:

– affection to service, damaging the distribution line

– generate a hazard for the operators working in the area. The hazard appears when a non-live wire (transmission wire) may be in contact with the live distribution line, appearing a difference of voltage that potentially could affect the rewiring workers

To avoid the electrical hazard, no work can be done without cutting the flow along the distribution line, affecting the quality of service to the customers.

 

What SPEN is looking for

It is a requirement that the alternative solutions avoid digging, as it represents the major impact in time and cost.

The winner will present the best combination of the following factors:

– effectiveness

– cost reduction

– shorter and easy implementation.

Solvers are asked to provide a fully described and supported solution for an alternative solution. Solutions must be innovative, effective and respect the given specifications.

Required Functionalities of the New Design

The company envisions a dielectric structure that protects the distribution line of the possible drop of a wire from the transmission line.

As it is a recurrent problem that appears along the transmission networks of the company, the solution ideally would be reusable and would have a low cost of transportation and an easy and quick deployment. It will withstand hard weather conditions such a storms, wind and constant rain.

The most important characteristic of the structure and a key point for the acceptance of the solution is the electrical isolation that has to provide between the distribution line and the transmission wires.

Moreover, the structure will withstand the mechanical stress a drop of a transmission wire over the cover without suffering major damage.

Solutions must include a high degree of innovation. The solver may provide alternative solutions to the envisioned dielectric structure, provided dielectric isolation is guaranteed and digging is avoided. However, a necessary condition is to provide total security of operation to guarantee safety to workers and service to customers.

The solver must provide evidence of the effectiveness of its solution, as well as times, steps and cost for its implementation and removal.

  Evaluation Criteria

Submissions will be assessed according to the following criteria:

– Digging avoidance

– Time and cost reduction

– Adaptable and reusable equipment and structure

– Resilience to transmission wire drop and all weather conditions

– Realistic to be build

– Easy transport and deployment

– A realistic price estimation

– Degree of innovation

– Quality of the supporting documents

 

Timeline

1st round: 7 weeks to present solutions + 2 weeks for evaluation

2nd round: 4 weeks to present solutions + 2 weeks for evaluation

3rd round: 2 to 8 weeks (dependent on solution provided)

Prize

Reward of £ 11,000 (GBP)

Terms: Prizes Pass to round 2 prize: all solutions that pass to round 2 will share a prize of £ 2.200 (GBP) in cash to be divided between the solvers who pass to round 2. First prize: the winner will be awarded £ 8,800 (GBP) cash prize Recognition and visibility will be given to the winners of the challenge.

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