Live lines down detection testing

In April 2023 Powerco conducted live lines down detection testing at its Ōakura Substation to put low-voltage monitoring technology through its paces as the team investigates whether it can be used to detect when there's a high-voltage lines down incident on its network.

Eneida and ElectroNet monitoring equipment is already in use monitoring the performance of Powerco's low-voltage electricity network.

The lines down detection testing was designed to see whether that technology could be used to detect high-voltage lines down incidents. If the technology proves reliable it could be used to improve safety on the network by alerting Powerco's Network Operations Control team so they can respond quickly.

The testing involved simulating a number of real-life lines down scenarios including lines on a car, on the ground and across a farm fence.

The innovative live testing was attended by representatives from Eneida and ElectroNet as well as university researchers.

Network Development Manager - West Phil Marsh says the results of the testing are promising.

"We could detect high-voltage lines down 100% of the time on both sets of monitors," he says.

"That's a fantastic response proving the technology and we now need to explore how it might be applied."

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