WEL Networks in New Zealand is using Fugro ROAMES technology to improve identification of network risk and to support regulatory compliance for their distribution network
Fugro ROAMES combines pioneering geospatial mapping techniques with cutting-edge data processing and cloud computing capabilities to deliver solutions for utilities to conduct remote asset inspection. Fugro’s award-winning technology designed specifically for power utilities is based on Remote Observation Automated Modeling Economic Simulation (ROAMES)—which creates a digital twin and detailed analytics for remote asset inspection, identification, and condition assessment.
WEL Networks is now receiving actionable reporting of conductor-to-ground clearance violations, conductor-to-conductor clearance violations, pole leans and vegetation or structure intrusions based on their own custom clearance and risk zones. This technique allows WEL Networks to rapidly identify and prioritise risk for their whole network, conduct inspections through a web browser, and update and improve their GIS data quality. These data and insights are delivered via two web-based ROAMES products: the ROAMES World map visualisation platform and ROAMES Analytics data reporting platform.
“The ROAMES provides a snapshot of WEL’s entire overhead network. The richness, completeness and accuracy of the data has helped WEL to better understand and prioritise network risk; and to create a solid spend plan that aligns with best asset management practices. This process ultimately improves the safety and reliability of WEL’s network for the benefit of our community,” WEL Networks General Manager Asset Management Mat O’Neill says.
Fugro ROAMES is also being used by WEL Networks to investigate asset deformities and non-conformances for distribution poles and equipment. This is an additional helicopter-based capture that provides millimetre-resolution multi-angle imagery of pole tops and bases analysed by expert line inspectors for detailed defect reporting. The image capture technique uses proprietary ROAMES software and hardware to navigate to all poles in the field and produce ultra-sharp images from every angle.
WEL Networks is using the ROAMES Pole Tops reporting to assess health indicators for poles that are located in remote areas. The assessment includes the review of crossarms, insulators, transformers, switchgear and hardware. The results are provided in a structure that aligns with WEL’s asset defect and asset condition classifications. Installing a digital asset management solution has already been transformative for WEL Networks, and as the utility plans to progress its modernisation plans over the next few years even more benefits and efficiencies are expected on the horizon.