Leveraging the 'internet of things'

A LoRaWAN sensor mounted on a pole

We’re leveraging the ‘Internet of Things’ by rolling out new technology to improve the monitoring of our electricity network.

We keep the electricity flowing across 28,000 kilometres of overhead lines and underground cables, some of which is located in remote or challenging terrain.

That’s why we’re investing in LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) smart sensor technology across the majority of our network to relay real-time information about our equipment back to the Network Operations Centre in Taranaki – where the team responsible for the 24/7 monitoring of the network are based.

Starting in June 2021, 200 gateways will be installed around the network over 24 months. Gateways are a piece of equipment that can collect and relay information from sensors placed on electricity assets such as power poles, lines and transformers.

Each gateway can monitor hundreds of sensors, creating a comprehensive picture of the network.

The sensors provide fault, performance and metering information. This will allow the team to more easily detect and locate power outages, identify underperforming assets, and understand power demand.

It also means sending field crews to remote locations for routine checks on equipment will no longer be necessary.

Ian Skipworth, General Manager Service Delivery and Systems Operations says the technology will improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the network for customers.

“LoRaWAN will give us much more granular information about our network than we currently have. Our team will be able to see what’s happening pole-by-pole in real-time,” he says.

“That means we can respond quickly to what’s happening now, and plan more effectively for the future.”

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