05 January 2023
Digital monitoring of SCOF cables
The SCOF Monitoring Project arose from the need to more efficiently address leaks coming from Elia’s underground self-contained oil-filled (SCOF) cables.
Why this project
Oil leaks from these cables were negatively impacting the surrounding environment and causing power outages.
Traditionally, the pressure of oil in SCOF cables was monitored by Elia’s Asset Condition and Control (ACC) team. Manual checks of this oil pressure needed to be performed by the team on a regular basis – a process which was time consuming and did not allow the team to avoid or predict cable failure.
In collaboration with the ACC team and three external partners, the Innovation team sought to provide a digital solution to the problem, which included the use of digital sensors, a communication gateway, antenna, deep penetration communication technology and an IoT platform.
The Innovation team opted to use their own analytics platform – Panoptic – which was then connected to the existing ACC system, allowing the digital and remote monitoring of oil pressure in SCOF cables through sensors linked to 73 cables.
This IoT platform allows staff to visualise and analyse trends in the pressure data picked up by the sensors, and can be accessed by staff on their laptops or mobile phones. These sensors also raise alarms in case possible incidents are detected.
The Innovation team chose to use Panoptic so that any future IoT project developed at Elia Group could also use it, streamlining the Group’s tools and practices.
The digital monitoring of SCOF cables has reduced the time, cost and danger associated with the manual monitoring of them. SCOF cables can now be monitored continuously, enabling the early detection and mitigation of oil leaks and protecting the environment. Moreover, the use of current assets is optimised, supporting the ongoing integration of renewable energy into the Belgian electricity grid.