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SYNAPS phase 2: fault detection, classification and location solution

SYNAPS Phase 1 demonstrated that our AI-powered SYNAPS system can reliably predict faults on our networks. Phase 2 will develop next generation sensors ready for connection to our low voltage network, providing a fault location within 5 metres before they have occurred and preventing power cuts.

Project-on-a-Page summary

Project data

Start date: 01/10/2020
End date: 31/05/2022
Budget: £632,140

We are working with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks and Powerline Technologies Ltd to build on Phase 1. This phase aims to:

  • Validate the technology further
  • Increase the accuracy, location and speed of estimation locations
  • Provide a real-time interface fully integrated into our IT system
  • Investigate long term fault evolution
  • Improve the technology and build towards implementing it in ‘Business as Usual’

SYNAPS Phase 2 will be organised in two trial stages:

  • A ‘basic’ fault location trial for four to six months trialling two sets of our current prototype sensors
  • An ‘advanced’ fault location trial for six to eight months trialling ten sets of our next generation sensors.

Through both stages, we’ll be gathering data about how SYNAPS performs in various fault conditions and take the technology to the next level.

Synaps Phase 2 extends our original project, which was the first time that leading-edge AI technology and ‘big data’ have been used to improve network reliability. If the trial is successful and rolled out across the network it could potentially help halve the number of power cuts.

Using machine learning by analysing waveforms from different locations to predict faults is a first on our network. It will help us be proactive like never before, replacing expensive and time-intensive methods with automated technical knowledge.

We will confirm the phase 1 findings and project partner Powerline Technologies will develop next generation sensors to meet the expected outcomes of the project. These are:

  • Identify when a fault is developing
  • Locate the fault within five metres
  • Validate the technology on our network
  • Provide a real time interface into our IT systems

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