Following a two-year process, Duquesne Light Company (DLC) has selected the winning solution of its public crowdsourcing innovation challenge — Monitoring Electrical Cable Challenge: The Future of Underground Inspection — focused on creating a safer and more reliable underground electrical network in DLC’s two-county service territory in southwestern Pennsylvania.
The Smart Cable Guard system by DNV stood out among other submissions for its quick installation times, enhanced visibility on potential infrastructure issues and ability to be effectively applied to Pittsburgh’s complex electrical grid.
Smart Cable Guard also met the challenge’s safety, operational and cost requirements needed to move the implementation process forward.
The system is designed to be installed throughout the underground electrical grid, feeding real-time data into an analytics platform powered by AI that sends operational alerts to DLC.
The company will receive live data that quickly locates cable faults, identifies current cable conditions and predicts future issues before any work is performed. The information can also help crews determine what protective gear and equipment are necessary to have on-site. DLC is only the third utility in North America to implement this innovative technology.
DLC launched the innovation challenge in December 2021 through crowdsourcing platform HeroX and received submissions from entrepreneurs, scientists, researchers and students from around the world. Beginning in 2025, the company expects to implement DNV’s system across more than 500 miles of its underground network over a five-year period.