Abstract:

Over the past six years, EA Technology has been involved in the remote monitoring of test spans and samples of overhead transmission line conductors in the UK in areas chosen for their severe winter weather. The sites are unmanned and regularly suffer gale", blizzards and severe icing conditions. Test samples at the sites are monitored day and night using automatic, computer and remotely controlled video and still cameras using both the visible and near infra red spectrum. Video and still picture data is stored on site for periodic collection. Meteorological and load force data is collected and also stored at these remote sites and is sent automatically by mobile phone link to a computer at the EA Technology centre. All this data can also be monitored at any time at the centre over 200 miles away.

1. Introduction

The UK electricity supply industry suffers severe disruption from snow and ice conditions on average once every 3 years. Particularly severe problems in 1981/82 led to a Parliamentary enquiry [I) with recommendations for research into the effects of blizzanl conditions on overhead supply line conductors. At the present time (3), up to 60 different conductors can be tested in a series of test spans and rigs which allow continuous monitoring of snow/ice loads and wind effects. Video cameras supplemented the original still cameras and major improvements in logging and data telemetry were made. Video, weather and other data are now logged and recorded at the sites which are all unmanned, but visited every 6 weeks. The logged data is automatically transmitted via mobile phone links to EA Technology and entered automatically into a computer spreadsheet programme. The video outputs of all the cameras can also be monitored via a telemetry link to EA Technology.

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