Developed and trialled remote monitoring equipment of low voltage link boxes.
Link box failures are difficult to predict as there is no active monitoring on this type of equipment. Risk is currently mitigated with a high frequency inspection policy. Through Link Alert we’ve developed a link box monitor to deploy on high risk link boxes.
The project tested prototype devices to remotely monitor link box temperatures. Once a design was selected and finalised, 50 installations were carried out. The devices monitored temperatures at predetermined time periods, which sent an alert signal if a temperature measured above a certain limit.
In-situ monitoring of link boxes has not previously been conducted for a number of reasons, primarily because effective remote communications from link boxes has not been possible. This has been compounded by the harsh environments link boxes are installed in with a lack of auxiliary supply and extremely poor radio reception.
Communication with link boxes was demonstrated in previous projects (SULVN and FUN-LV). In these trials, there were a number of data communication issues. These included missing measurement data and incorrect current direction. In the Link Alert project, it was decided to trial a non-invasive temperature sensor that was installed above the bell cover. Normal mobile signal (4G and 3G) was sufficient for this application. More learnings are noted in our closedown report.