Funding Entity: 

Project funded by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad with project number: IPT-2011-12-920000 under the INNPACTO program.

Start Date: 
Monday, 2 January 2012
Microelectronic and sensor technologies applied to predictive maintanace of electric distribution networks.

This project aims to develop optical sensors to optimize management of electrical utility networks. The main differentiator compared to similar projects is the predictive analysis to prevent future malfunctions.

Project description:

This project focuses on the following parts of the system:

Armored commutation cells: Optical sensors to control commutation of electrical circuits will be developed. This is a very critical aspect of the system as improper commutation has drastic effects in electric distribution causing long shortages to large population areas. Today monitoring is accomplished by electrical/electronic devices extremely expensive and with severe restrictions due to EM compatibility. Passive optical sensors offer a very adequate alternative. Furthermore the project extends to the possibility of not only detecting operating failures but analyzing future possible break downs. The project will cover the full monitorization system.

Power Transformation: one of the most critical problems of transformers are hot spots in certain places of the inductors that may produce short term ruptures on it. Presently there is no control system to prevent this problem. The project suggest the possibility of using fiber optics in parallel to copper wire that would allow to know the temperature in the different parts making possible actuations before breakdown.

Aerial power distribution lines and transmission cables: Distribution grids both aerial and underground have to main breakdown causes: Mechanical strain and hot spots. Most of present distribution lines have installed fiber optics in parallel originally used for data transmission. This fiber can be used with the proper measurement instruments in the ends to monitor both mechanical tension and temperature in multiple places of the line. The objective of the project is to adapt/develop the necessary technology for this use.


CeDInt main contribution:

The development of the full optical system to monitor the armored commutation cells has been made by CeDInt researchers.