'Start-up' challenge: Transmission construction automation

Real-time monitoring and 3D printing solutions for optimising electric transport installations

Hyperion, a 3D printing company, and Sensohive, which makes sensors for monitoring concrete curing, are the winners of the Start-up Challenge, the contest launched to find solutions to optimise the construction of electricity transport facilities by boosting efficiency and process productivity.

The winners will sign a collaboration agreement and be able to try out their project.

The winners

The Maturix External link, opens in new window. solution, created by Danish company Sensohive, is embedded in the formwork to monitor concrete temperatures in real time as it cures, making it possible to determine the perfect moment to remove the formwork, avoiding cracks and damage caused by sudden temperature changes. This allows average savings of 30-50 % in the process time.

The data is stored automatically in the cloud and can be viewed in real time from any device.

The other winner, Finnish company Hyperion Robotics External link, opens in new window. is on a "mission to accelerate the transition to sustainable and automated construction". To do this, it has developed a robotic 3D printing system that can automatically produce large-scale reinforced concrete structures for construction projects.

The main benefits of this solution that made it deserving of the prize are:

 Increased productivity and profitability: eliminating formwork and moulds can mean up to 70 % of costs and execution time.

 Design freedom and optimisation: lighter items can be produced that require only half the amount of materials.

 Sustainability: the amount of concrete required, one of the most polluting and frequently used materials, is reduced by half and the entire process lowers the amount of waste produced by almost 90 %.

 Increased health and safety conditions: only the robots are at risk. The workers — one operator and one assistant — simply supervise the process.

 Meet the winners of the Startup Challenge

Reasons for this challenge

Iberdrola has more than 1.2 million kilometres of electric transmission and distribution power lines, distributed in the United States, Brazil, the United Kingdom and Spain. As part of this network there are more than 4,400 high-to-medium voltage substations and more than 1.5 million medium-to-low voltage distribution transformers, all built and operated to provide a high quality and reliable service to a total of 31 millions of electricity supply points.

More transmission networks are needed to facilitate the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables and transport this green energy to the load centres and customers. In order to minimize the impact of these new facilities on both the environment and cost to consumers it's essential we seek out innovative and efficient ways to improve our construction techniques for both transmission substations and lines.

Furthermore, the company is a pioneer in the digitization of its networks through the development of smart grids, the integration of storage solutions and the deployment of electric vehicle charging stations.

All this work is carried out in parallel to a great effort to minimize the environmental impact of these facilities.

The prize

The selected projects will be developed in collaboration with the technical specialists from the Iberdrola Network area.

The prize will consist of us signing a collaboration and test agreement with PERSEO - International Startup Programme and/or with any other relevant Iberdrola group company, who will assume the costs and provide the winner with the necessary technical support, giving access to infrastructures and real data to test the solution.

If the assay or test of the concept is satisfactory, Iberdrola may offer the winner the opportunity to scale up the solution by means of commercial agreements. In addition, Perseo may consider investing in the participant.