Online sense of snow


VTT's sensor solutions can be used to follow the build-up of snow on power lines in real time. Considerable cost savings and improved reliability are expected, as problems can be anticipated and remedial measures taken in a systematic manner.

Monitoring of the build-up of snow loads was previously carried out using helicopters. Efficient forecasting of maintenance needs can now be achieved by placing sensors at critical points along power lines. Snow load build-up can be monitored in real time through a web-based service. Benefits include more systematic targeting of corrective measures, reduced line damage and prevention of cuts in the electricity supply.

The sensors are based on a new technology patented by VTT in Russia, Canada and the United States, as well as in the EU. The method combines wireless data transfer, energy self-sufficiency measurement and real-time online data transfer, in a compact and easily installed package. The device is built in to the aerial marker ball generally used with power lines, which means that installation engineers already possess the necessary tools and installation method.

The solution is now being tested by E.ON Kainuun Sähköverkko Oy in the Kajaani area.

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