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Winter Resilience: Enhancing Transmission Line Reliability with Laki Power

As the chill of winter sets in, transmission line operators brace for the inevitable challenges posed by the season's harsh weather conditions. The period is marked by an increased demand for heating, strong winds leading to storm-induced damage, and the unique complications brought on by snow and ice accumulation. These factors collectively threaten the reliability and efficiency of power lines, leading to heightened equipment failure rates, sagging lines, and an increased likelihood of flashovers. The preparation for these potential issues is pivotal for transmission operators to maintain the crucial balance of service reliability and safety.


The Winter Challenge for Power Grids

In recent years, regions like the US, Spain, and the UK have witnessed extreme winter storms, such as Winter Storm Uri in Texas, Storm Filomena in Spain, and the Beast from the East 2 in the UK and Ireland all in 2021. These events led to widespread power outages, affecting millions, and demonstrating the severe impact frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall can have on power infrastructure. The incidents serve as stark reminders of the critical need for robust, winter-specific resilience measures for power grids worldwide.


The Role of Advanced Monitoring in Combating Winter Challenges

To effectively counter the formidable challenges of winter, transmission operators are increasingly embracing real-time monitoring and predictive analytics. Leading this technological shift is Laki Power, which offers advanced monitoring solutions that significantly enhance grid oversight. Laki Power´s robust power line monitoring station stands out with its state-of-the-art optical cameras, comprehensive meteorological station, and precise line sensors. Unique to Laki Power is its patented power harvesting technology, which energizes the monitoring station, eliminating the need for high maintenance and installation costs of external power sources and ensuring continuous operation. The monitoring system, combined with an all-in-one intelligent analytics suite, represents a significant leap over traditional sensor capabilities, providing a more sustainable and efficient approach to grid monitoring.


Incorporating high-definition cameras into grid monitoring, a key feature of Laki Power's systems, provides a substantial advantage in early detection and intervention strategies. These cameras play a pivotal role in identifying ice build-up and snow accumulation early on, often before these issues become detectable through standard power line sensor data. This capability is crucial for timely and effective interventions, such as adjusting line current for de-icing purposes.


Video captured by Laki Power´s LKX Multi of ice accumulation


Moreover, in regions like Norway, where harsh winter conditions are a norm, Laki Power's cameras are extensively utilized by Statnett for safety assessments. They provide critical visual confirmation, ensuring the safety of ground and helicopter crews during maintenance and de-icing operations. Additionally, the cameras are invaluable in detecting line galloping, a risk that can manifest even in low wind conditions and often goes unnoticed by basic sensors. The ability to visually monitor these subtle changes ensures a more comprehensive and proactive approach to maintaining power grid stability during the challenging winter months.

 

Addressing Specific Winter Challenges with Laki Power

Laki Power's advanced solutions provide a comprehensive path to enhanced winter resilience for overhead high voltage transmission line operators. By delivering critical solutions for ice and snow mitigation, weather monitoring, dynamic line rating, and infrastructure maintenance, Laki Power ensures operators are well-equipped to navigate the challenges of the winter season effectively.


Laki Power LKX Multi


Ice and Snow Mitigation:

Laki Power's innovative overhead power line monitoring systems, equipped with advanced sensors and imaging technology, are critical in mitigating the effects of ice and snow. The LKX Multi monitoring station, with its comprehensive suite of sensors - accelerometer, temperature, wind, and humidity and camera system - provide detailed, real-time data on ice accumulation, type, and thickness. This allows operators to understand the weight and wind resistance impacting the lines, enabling them to calculate the ice load and proactively dispatch crews for ice removal. The station´s built-in camera de-icing system ensures reliable operation of the optical cameras during extreme cold weather events, offering operators a clear view of the power lines. Early detection of ice build-up and insulator flashovers allows for preemptive actions, significantly reducing the risk of infrastructure complications.


Image captured by Laki Power´s LKX Multi of an ice wing


Weather Monitoring and Forecasting:

The unpredictability of winter weather requires robust monitoring and forecasting. Laki Power's systems, complete with a weather station, provide accurate micro-weather data directly from the power line providing a comprehensive understanding of the current and upcoming weather conditions. This information is crucial for dynamic line rating and scheduling maintenance, allowing operators to predict and prepare for severe weather events, thereby minimizing the impact on transmission lines.


Dynamic Line Rating (DLR):

Dynamic Line Rating is a vital aspect of modern grid management, especially during the variable conditions of winter. Traditional static ratings do not account for real-time weather conditions, leading to under or over-utilization of transmission capacity. Laki Analytics Suite processes data streams from multiple sensors in real-time, predicting ampacity with high accuracy. The LKX Multi, compliant with IEEE Std 738, measures localized weather patterns directly at the power line location, capturing unique weather nuances not represented by nearby weather stations or models. By leveraging real-time weather measurements and conductor temperature, operators can adjust the capacity of power lines based on actual environmental conditions and confidently forecast ampacity. This real-time adaptation enhances grid efficiency and reduces the risk of overloads and failures, providing a significant advantage in maintaining continuous power supply during winter.


Dynamic Line Rating parameters captured by Laki Analytics Suite


Infrastructure Inspection and Maintenance:

Effective winter preparedness begins with ensuring robust and well-maintained infrastructure. Inspecting for potential weak points, wear and tear, or damage before and during the winter season is crucial in minimizing the risk of failures and in prolonging the infrastructure's lifespan.


Winter storms, accompanied by strong winds, can cause severe galloping and flashovers in power lines, potentially leading to faults or outages. Laki Power's advanced sensors and high-definition cameras are key in these scenarios, as they continuously monitor and record the power lines' movements, particularly their pitch and roll. This real-time tracking provides critical data and visual evidence of any galloping, helping to prevent or quickly address these issues.

Laki Power´s LKX Multi capturing a galloping event in real-time


The continuous monitoring of the conductor's behavior over time is invaluable, offering insights that feed into the design and maintenance of power lines. By analyzing the patterns and specific conditions that lead to galloping, engineers are equipped to make informed decisions on the optimal placement and quantity of dampers needed. This strategic, data-driven approach significantly enhances the effectiveness of dampers, effectively mitigating the risks associated with galloping and ensuring a more resilient power infrastructure against the harsh winter elements.


Emergency Response Planning:

Despite rigorous preparations, emergencies are an inevitable aspect of power grid management. Laki Power's transmission line monitoring and alert systems provide operators with real-time notifications, facilitating rapid response and mitigation. The platform's user-friendly interface delivers detailed live data and images, aiding in quick identification and resolution of incidents. Furthermore, the accumulation of historical data assists in refining emergency response strategies, ensuring better grid preparedness for future winters.


Laki Analytics Suite


Advancing Winter Resilience: Laki Power's Revolutionizing Grid Monitoring


Laki Power stands as a critical ally for transmission line operators facing the harsh realities of winter. By providing advanced monitoring and predictive analytics, Laki Power's solutions equip operators to anticipate and address the diverse challenges of the winter season, from ice accumulation to high demand loads. With Laki Power, operators can ensure that their lines are not only resilient against galloping and insulator flashovers but are also operating at optimal efficiency and safety, protecting infrastructure and service alike.


As electricity demand continues to rise and weather patterns become increasingly unpredictable, the importance of reliable and advanced technology in maintaining power supply cannot be overstated. Laki Power is at the cutting edge of this evolution, empowering operators like Landsnet in Iceland to uphold the stability and efficiency of power grids, even in the face of the most severe winter conditions.


If you´d like to learn more about how you can integrate Laki Power´s overhead transmission line monitoring systems into your winter preparedness strategy contact Laki Power today.

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