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On behalf of the Australian Government, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has today announced $732,493 to Infravision Pty Ltd (Infravision) to develop, test and trial their ‘Next Generation Line Monitoring System’ to optimise grid performance delivering faster, safer and more cost-efficient drone-enabled line enhancements to existing electrical infrastructure.

This innovation comes as an added feature to their TX System, a live line aerial stringing system providing a modernised alternative to traditional methods.

Infravision’s line monitoring technology consists of a sensor stack that can be installed by drone on transmission lines to provide real time microclimatic data which can unlock additional transmission line capacity.

This data can be used to calculate a Dynamic Line Rating (DLR) that provides a more accurate and responsive measurement of transmission capacity, allowing higher volumes of electricity to be safely dispatched when conditions are suitable.

Safe line capacity can be affected by wind, temperature and nearby vegetation. Line sag caused by hot weather or high energy flows can cause cables to hang lower than usual, bringing them closer to trees and urban infrastructure that may be located below.

Currently, most transmission operators use static line ratings. These ratings make conservative assumptions to ensure that lines operate safely at all times, without knowledge of actual environmental conditions affecting the line. By calculating DLR using real-time, real-world conditions, transmission operators will be able to determine when it is safe to dispatch higher volumes of electricity on existing infrastructure.

The project will see Infravision deploy, test and enhance a fleet of Next Generation sensors on the New South Wales transmission network to provide Transgrid with high fidelity data on selected lines. In the 2022 Integrated System Plan, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) identified $12.7 billion of new transmission projects required to underpin the transition to renewable energy over the next decade.

Infravision is an Australian technology start-up accelerating power grid modernisation with drone-enabled power line upgrades in Australia, the United States of America and other emerging markets.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said the Next Generation DLR solution could reduce the need for new transmission infrastructure and help accelerate the electricity transition.

“The electricity transition is going to require new generation and transmission on a massive scale. Infravision’s integrated Dynamic Line Rating solution can help get the most out of existing transmission lines,” Mr Miller said.

“Allowing an increased flow of electricity through existing assets reduces the need for new infrastructure, keeping down costs for consumers and network operators.

“Infravision is a great example of an Australian startup providing practical solutions to unlocking a higher penetration of renewable generation sooner which can be applicable to the NEM and other electricity networks across the world.”

Product development for Infravision’s line monitoring system is currently underway, with Infravision planning to install the first sensor units later this year.

ARENA media contact:

Download this media release (PDF 110KB)

Last updated 16 December 2022
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