Efficient and Effective

Tunnel Data Capture Enhancement

Project Data

Start date:


End date:





This project will be applicable to all tunnels containing electrical assets. These assets are expected to primarily be LV, HV and EHV cables and associated joints. The enhanced inspection method will be trialled on a proportion of tunnels within UK Power Networks area.

What is the project about?

The objectives of the project are to:

  • Identify methods of inspection that are currently used on other assets that enable enhanced data capture.
  • Capture sufficient data as part of tunnel inspections in order to reduce the need for staff to enter tunnels and enable condition based monitoring of tunnel sections. This will provide a reduced chance of injury to staff and minimised risk of failure of equipment by employing a proactive approach to improved inspection and monitoring.
  • Test the identified methods and/or peer review to confirm observations noted that provide a true representation of the degrading health of the assets.
  • Develop the tunnel inspection strategy to enable a condition based monitoring approach to tunnel inspections.

How we’re doing it

The project is split into three key phases:

Phase 1 – Literature Review of Enhanced Inspection Techniques

  • Identification of tunnel inspection techniques to measure the condition of assets within tunnels (e.g. joints, cables, equipment, supports, tunnel fabric and fixed access equipment etc.)
  • Proposal of the enhanced tunnel inspection techniques that should be implemented and trialled.
  • Selection of techniques based on recommendation and peer review

Phase 2 – Develop, design and build technology & inspect tunnels using advanced techniques

  • Develop, design and build one/two prototype devices or obtain existing equipment that is commercially available or enhance commercially available equipment effective method of tunnel inspection

Phase 3 – Development of equipment, systems and policies

  • Return of prototype units and production of up to five devices
  • Produce instructional guide on use of technology
  • Production of a strategy for the enhanced inspection of tunnels to be available to all GB DNOs

What we’re learning

Learning that will be shared with other DNOs is expected to include:

  • Best practice for tunnel inspections that can be applied to all GB DNOs with assets within tunnels, leading to reduced health and safety risk and improved health assessment of assets within tunnels.
  • Comprehensive report and revised roadmap for future innovation
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