Protection for electrical substations: Moscow began testing of innovative developments

July 19
Economy and entrepreneurship

In Moscow, the testing of innovative developments that will prevent overheating of electrical equipment and failures at substations has begun. High-tech products were created by the capital enterprise, one of the leading manufacturers of LED lamps. The tests are run on the territory of the United Energy Company JSC (OEK JSC), subordinate to the City Department of Housing and Communal Services, as part of a pilot testing program for innovative solutions.

 “This program enables testing new developments at urban and commercial sites, assessing their effectiveness and competitiveness. Since 2019, over 80 innovations have already been tested in Moscow, 30 tests are currently being run,” Alexey Fursin, head of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development, said.

Change of color and overheating history

Several transformer substations of the United Energy Company (OEK) JSC began using innovative thermal indicator stickers. They are flexible self-adhesive strips that are attached to electrical contacts or to the electrical equipment itself. If the temperature rises, the stickers signal thereof by changing their color from white to black. The shade can help to determine how much the equipment has overheated.

Now OEK JSC employees detect overheating during scheduled rounds using thermal imagers. The new technology will enable them to simply verify the color of the thermal indicators. In addition to ease of use, stickers have another advantage over thermal imagers: when the equipment cools down, they remain dark. Thus, the indicators retain information about the overheating. If overheating does not occur during a routine walk-through, employees will still learn thereof and be able to determine the cause of the problem earlier. For example, they may need to reconnect wires or split them up to prevent overheating in the future. After the faults are eliminated, new thermal indicator stickers should be glued to the contacts and equipment.

“The uniqueness of the Russian development lies in the larger indicator area (the large sticker is more noticeable on the wires) and significantly lower cost compared to foreign analogues. Also, as part of the pilot testing, an innovative device, which will reveal the place of current leakage and arcing in electrical circuits, was installed in OEK JSC. The technology will help to prevent possible accidents and fires,” Vyacheslav Torsunov, head of the Moscow Department of Housing, Utilities and Amenities, said.

Identifies the cause of sparking and prevents fires

A high-tech device is installed in electrical panels. In size and shape, it resembles a circuit breaker, but the innovation created by a Moscow company has a different principle of operation. The device compares the signals coming to it, detects arcing and even analyzes its causes. The information on occurrence of sparking will automatically enter the dispatcher's operational information system. As a result, high-tech equipment helps to prevent substation fires without human intervention.

Both the thermal indicator stickers and the device for fixing sparks can be used everywhere, for example, in other power grid companies, in industrial enterprises, in public agencies and at home.

The tests at the United Energy Company JSC will be run by the end of September. The experts will check the declared parameters of innovations and their effectiveness in the event of emergency situations. If the experiment turns out to be successful, innovative developments can begin to be applied in OEK JSC.

Photo by Maxim Mishin, Press Service of the Mayor and Moscow Government

How to participate in the pilot testing program

The Moscow Agency of Innovations is the operator of the pilot testing program. It was launched in 2019. Due to the project, the entrepreneurs have got an ability to assess the competitiveness and prospects of developments and further improve them before entering the market, with consumers’ feedback taken into account. Whereas the companies that take part in testing are the first to get acquainted with emerging technologies. Over 130 government and commercial companies from 18 industries are participating in the program, including medicine and patient rehabilitation, sports, logistics, energy and retail.

The developers may connect to the pilot testing program on the website of the Moscow Innovation Cluster by filling in the application form with a description of the project. After confirming it, they will meet with representatives of the test site to try out a new technological solution. The parties shall then determine the methodology for testing and evaluating the results, prepare documentation and sign the final agreement. The pilot testing sites include the Moscow Technopolis, banks, chain stores and other organizations.​


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