Storms and extreme weather events becomes a new reality in Lithuania in recent years. Distribution network operator ESO faces challenges when after the storm as many as a hundred thousand clients are disconnected after the storm impact. The standard process is a quick reaction from dispatch system operators where automated solutions such as reconnection or re-supply are available followed by field crews locating faults in the electricity network on foot or sometimes using the helicopter to evaluate the larger area affected. The final goal is to restore the power supply for clients as fast as possible.
For this challenge, a new pilot project was initiated in order to find an alternative solution to evaluate post-storm effects on the distribution grid (more information about the project -https://ignitisinnovation.com/projects/post-storm-analysis-from-satellite/). By partnering up with Baltijos pažangiųjų technologijų institutas (BPTI) and LiveEO, a post-storm analytical solution using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images from satellites was tested. The project evaluated possibilities to detect changes in the grid by comparing two SAR archive images, one before and the other after the storm. The results showed big potential in detecting changes and accuracy in finding faults was on point.
The main challenges that remain are additional fault positives as it is an analytical task to evaluate potential changes with limited resolution data. As well as the availability and positioning of satellites in the required areas and at the right time.
This is an innovative solution for tackling grid recovery challenges after a big storm. SAR images can be taken during bad, cloudy weather which helps to have a fast and responsive result. Such images are just started to be recognized in various applications and with an increasing number of available satellites and improving technology they will be adapted in different industry sectors.
After finalizing archive data test results ESO will be evaluating the potential to use such a solution in near real-time application. In such way, post-storm analysis would help to restore ESO grid faster and more efficient.
You can find out more about the project here - https://ignitisinnovation.com/projects/post-storm-analysis-from-satellite/
Prepared by Ignitis Innovation Hub – Vytautas Keršiulis, [email protected]