Ukraine DSO pilots near real-time monitoring of underground cables

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Ukraine distribution system operator (DSO) DTEK Grids has partnered with Norwegian firm DNV to enhance the management and operation of its underground energy distribution cables.

The DSO is testing DNV’s Smart Cable Guard platform to monitor the condition of its underground power lines in real-time.

Real-time monitoring of the grid would enable the utility to quickly detect and attend to a malfunction, a development that would help improve the efficiency of the grid, ensure fewer power outages, improve customer services and optimise the maintenance of the grid. 90% of the DSO’s distribution lines are underground.

The technology has been installed on two sections of the DSO grid that are supplied energy by Priorska and Vokzalna substations. Sensors read the required information from the cable line and transmit the data to a server via the internet for processing.

Once the data is processed, the system automatically provides a conclusion regarding the condition of the underground cable line. In the event of a malfunction, the system immediately sends an alert to the utility’s dispatcher who then decides whether to switch customers to backup lines, remove the line out of service or send a repair crew to eliminate the malfunction.

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Ivan Geliukh, CEO of DTEK Grids, said: “We will be able to monitor underground lines in real-time and identify the location of faults with an accuracy of one meter. Such innovative technologies help us to provide modern and high-quality service to our customers.” 

He said the technology expands the company’s portfolio of smart grid solutions that are being installed to improve the reliability, flexibility, resilience, and stability of the Ukraine grid. He said developing a smart grid enables his firm to provide modern and high-quality services to consumers.

Geliukh said the project falls will accelerate its digital transformation through investing in innovative technologies that can help the company to align itself with the digitalisation occurring across the European energy sector.

The launch of the pilot follows a partnership formed by DTEK Grids with London-based VC firm Blue Lake to help the company to identify innovative solutions that can be employed to enhance grid operations in Ukraine.

David Gilgur, Blue Lake Partner, said: “The goal of our partnership is to identify international trends in the development of innovative technologies and business models at an early stage and to help Innovation DTEK team to implement them into business. We are confident that our joint work will lead to successful pilot projects…”

DTEK Grids and Blue Lake will focus on decarbonisation, energy storage, carbon-neutral hydrogen production and hydrogen technologies.