ScottishPower has published a substation earth monitoring report following the successful project with Cresatech CuTS. The report, published on July 18, provides confirmation that “the Cresatech CuTS unit and service is a viable solution for the detection and mitigation of safety impact and service continuity issues that result from metal infrastructure theft from electrical networks.” It “highlighted that it is possible to monitor substation assets through the use of an innovative monitoring system.”
The pervasive security, safety and service continuity issues generated by metal theft have driven power network operator’s requirements for a cost-effective method of detecting such theft activity as it happens.
Cresatech CuTS sends a real-time alert as the theft events occur so safety and service risks can be mitigated in the most suitable and effective manner.
“Liaising with the local districts, utilizing local knowledge and reviewing past history of vandalism and theft, a number of substation locations were chosen for the trial. The locations were reviewed to ensure their suitability and an installation plan was developed with regards to available internal resources. This approach enabled the monitors to be evaluated against conventional alternative preventative measures and also increased the chance that they would be triggered for an actual theft occurrence.”
Key conclusions quoted directly from the report;
“During the trial period there was not a copper theft incident at any of the chosen 25 sites. However, a number of preplanned and random tests were carried out to simulate the removal or tampering of earthed infrastructure. These tests proved the Cresatech CuT system effectively detected removal or tampering of the earthed infrastructure.”
The trial successfully proved;
- The successful and reliable detection of copper theft and tampering at key substation locations either through test simulations or actual events. Low incidences of mal-operation and spurious alarms
- It was concluded that “The (Cresatech CuTS) monitors adequately detected when earthing was removed or tampered with during testing."
Remote monitoring technologies in general are likely to support multiple business cases, potentially across multiple stakeholders. In the case of this project in addition to security, it has become clear that other benefits include:
- Safety (for employees and public on-site and further downstream in the network); and
- Operational efficiency (for example, asset protection, planned maintenance etc.)