'Start-up challenge': Fire detection in protected areas
Minsait, winner of the challenge for the early detection of fires in the vicinity of power lines
Minsait has developed a solution that will detect the presence of fire in the vicinity of power lines and alert Iberdrola's Distribution Operation Centre. This, in turn, will allow early notification of the authorities and the Fire Brigade.
The technology company Minsait has been selected in the Start-up Challenge: Fire detection in protected areas, a challenge that sought solutions for the early detection of fires in the vicinity of power lines, with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of the fire as well as the impact on the continuity of supply to customers.
The start-up has developed a solution that will detect the presence of fire in the vicinity of power lines and alert Iberdrola's Distribution Operation Centre. This, in turn, will allow early notification of the authorities and the Fire Brigade, as well as the initiation of preventive actions to minimise the impact on customers and disconnect the lines in the area to avoid greater damage. In this way, it also seeks to support environmental organisations with critical information that will enable them to identify the origin of the fire
Iberdrola has over 1.2 million kilometres of electricity transmission and distribution lines in the United States, Brazil, the UK and Spain. The network comprises over 4,500 high- to medium-voltage substations and more than 1.6 million medium- to low-voltage distribution transformers built and operated to provide a high-quality and reliable service to more than 32 million electricity supply points.
The areas where Iberdrola operates are also home to a variety of wildlife and plants which are sometimes subject to official protection (Biosphere reserves, Natura 2000 Network, Natural Park, etc.).
In Spain alone, the grid covers 19,314 kilometres of protected land, and there are 144 substations, 8,793 transformers, 31 reservoirs and 14 wind farms on sites of this type.
Iberdrola's commitment to environmental protection and conservation in these natural settings is based on the principles established in its Biodiversity Policy, through its environmental management, action plans and monitoring of restored and compensated habitats following the positive offsetting principle.
Among other activities, Iberdrola plays an active role through its Trees Programme, through which it will plant more than 20 million trees by 2030, working preventively on plants and assets at risk of incidents due to demand peaks and weather conditions.
Description of the challenge
In this context, through its PERSEO Start-ups Programme, Iberdrola is looking for early-warning solutions that will detect fires close to electric lines, to reduce the environmental impact of the fire and minimise the impact on supply continuity for its customers.
When a fire is detected, Iberdrola's Distribution Operations Centre can alert the authorities and fire fighters, as well as trigger preventive measures to reduce the impact on customers and disconnect lines in the area to protect the system from further damage.
We are also seeking support from environmental bodies with critical information that can help to pinpoint the origin of the fire.
When assessing candidatures, the following technologies will be positively considered: spectroscopy, thermal infrared, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision and real-time satellite imagery, among others.
The following will also be judged:
- Long-distance detection capacity
- The maturity, reliability and scalability of the hardware, software or hybrid solution
- Ease of installation and maintenance
- The possibility of integration in existing surveillance systems
- Total cost (both initial and recurring)
- Application in other energy assets such as substations, transformers and wind farms
- Positive impact on any of the Just Transition areas (e.g. Lada and Velilla del Río Carrión)
- Additional uses that can be made of the technology used (pruning management support, supervision of safety distances, line parameter measurements, discouraging birds, etc.).
The challenge is launched within the framework of the new Global Smart Grids Innovation Hub. Iberdrola will make the Hub a worldwide smart grid benchmark through open collaboration and co-working between i-DE technicians, suppliers, start-ups and different organisations from all around the world.
The team of business experts at Iberdrola Networks will be responsible for selecting one or more innovative solutions for early detection of fires close to electrical lines.