Manitoba Hydro is the province’s primary energy utility, tasked with providing electricity and natural gas to communities throughout Manitoba. As an essential service, the company is committed to delivering reliable energy to its customers while continuously seeking ways to enhance the resilience of its infrastructure.
Manitoba Hydro faced the challenge of quantifying the effects of the harsh prairie climate on their transmission lines, particularly after a storm in 2019 that damaged their infrastructure.
The wide-open spaces of the prairies subjected their lines to weather events of a significantly different nature compared to areas buffered by natural geography. This difference highlighted the need for a data-driven approach to measure and analyze the impact on their infrastructure to design for and build a more resilient grid.
In response to this need, Manitoba Hydro partnered with Laki Power to install LKX MULTI monitoring systems. Compact and robust, these systems feature optical cameras and advanced weather stations, collecting essential data such as temperature, humidity, and conductor movement. A standout component is the ultrasonic wind sensor, capable of high-resolution measurements up to 75 m/s, and equipped with de-icing for reliable performance in all weather. Positioned directly on the power line conductors, the LKX MULTI offers accurate, site-specific weather data, essential for assessing the unique microclimates impacting the overhead lines. This direct approach surpasses the limitations of broad weather models by capturing local condition nuances. Powered by Laki's patented energy-harvesting technology, the system operates independently of solar panels or external batteries, ensuring continuous, unimpeded monitoring. This solution provides Manitoba Hydro with a comprehensive tool to navigate and manage the challenging prairie weather.
With the LKX MULTI systems in place, Manitoba Hydro has successfully gathered detailed weather and line data. This data collection has been critical in providing Manitoba Hydro with the ability to conduct thorough weather impact analyses, leading to strategic decisions that improve the reliability and durability of their power transmission network against the unique and challenging prairie weather conditions.
"Finally we have a mechanism to be able to measure the difference in weather that the wide open prairie exposes our infrastructure to."
Maria Neufeld - Director, Transmission Operations & Maintenance