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The New South Wales Transgrid network is working in conjunction with Infravision to trial sensors that will increase capacity to support renewable energy and improve the efficiency of existing transmission lines.

The trial will involve the deployment and testing of Infravision’s Next Generation Line Monitoring System sensors on selected transmission lines on the Transgrid network in New South Wales.

The Next Generation Line Monitoring System consists of a sensor stack that can be installed by drone on transmission lines to provide real time microclimate data such as wind speed/direction, temperature and any sagging of conductors.

Transgrid Executive General Manager of Network, Marie Jordan, said “This is clever technology which provides real-time data we can use to ensure transmission lines are operating as effectively as possible for consumers.

“This system enables us to receive data in real-time which can be used to calculate a Dynamic Line Rating to determine if more electricity can be dispatched along a line in favourable conditions when it’s safe to do so,” she said.

Currently lines are given a Static Line Rating, which make assumptions to ensure lines can always operate safely but don’t consider current environmental conditions. Safe line capacity can be affected by several factors, including wind, temperature, and nearby vegetation.

“Having a Dynamic Line Rating will help us continue operating the network safely such as during bushfire periods when we can manage any risks in real-time to reduce potential damage to both the network and environment.

“Increasing capacity by maximising existing infrastructure means we can optimise our existing assets with real time information and support the transition to renewable energy,” Ms Jordan said.

Addressing congestion on the transmission network will allow a greater take-up of renewable energy by allowing existing network assets to be utilised at an increased capacity, minimising the curtailment of renewable generators.

The Line Monitoring sensors will be installed using Infravision’s fully electric TX Drone Stringing System.

Infravision CEO and Co-Founder Cameron Van Der Berg, said Transgrid is a global leader in the space.

“We’re proud to continue our collaboration with Transgrid on this trial which builds upon the success we have seen rolling out safer, greener and cheaper methods for line stringing using our TX system,” he said.

Infravision received $732,493 in federal funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency for the trial.

ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, said “The electricity transition is going to require new generation and transmission on a massive scale. Infravision’s integrated Dynamic Line Rating solution can help get the most out of existing transmission lines. 

“Allowing an increased flow of electricity through existing assets reduces the need for new infrastructure, keeping down costs for consumers and network operators.”

The sensors will be in place for a 12-month evaluation period which will allow Transgrid to assess a potential grid-scale rollout of the technology.

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