- The components of overhead power distribution lines located in areas with marine air, high pollution, and little rain are subjected to the accumulation of sea salt, moisture, dust, and industrial smoke. This accumulation causes a variety of detrimental effects to the components ranging from surface electrical discharges on insulators to corrosion of aluminum and steel conductors and equipment. The medium voltage (10-20 kV) network around Lima, Peru is one area affected. With little rain to wash away the accumulation the mild drizzle that does occur turns the built-up dust, smoke, and salt into mud that can further penetrate the components. Specific vulnerabilities of overhead network components include: Bare copper or aluminum conductors: Fallen conductor.
- Terminals and Self-supporting cables: The terminal's ground line broken because of the corrosion, causing electrical discharges to the terminal or self-supporting cable.
- Ejecting Fuses: Improper cut out of the copper filaments fuse of the type K ejecting fuse.
- Connectors: Disconnections of connectors due to short-circuits.
- Cut-Out Disconnectors: Pollution, humidity and mineral salts deposited on the insulator body can reduce the resistance of the insulator and make ground discharges more probable.
- Hybrid Polymer-Porcelain Insulators: Pollution, humidity and marine salts deposited on the insulator body can reduce the resistance of the insulator and make ground discharges more probable.
- Staple: This accessory holds the overhead conductor and when it is corroded it disconnects the conductor and causes it to fall.
- Peripheral Unit (UP): High degree of corrosion on the external parts of the cabinets of the peripheral units. Corrosion is present on many parts of the equipment, particularly on edges and ridges as well as on areas close to perforations of the cabinet (own equipment manufacturing perforations). According to the specifications, the exterior finish of the equipment (anti-corrosive protection) should protect it and prevent deterioration in a longer life time than the presented on the equipment data sheet.
The attached pictures show the effects on different components (INSULATOR, CUT-OUT, STAPLE)
- As a solution, lubricants have been taken into consideration to improve the useful life time of materials exposed to extreme corrosive environments. Some alternatives are:Restorative lubricants: to recover the electrical properties the devices lost due to corrosion (Pen Lub™)
- Protective lubricants: to protect the devices from further harm caused by pollution (Rust Defense™)
- Cleaning lubricants: to remove dirt and mud from the devices, preventing future damages (Proxilab™)
The lubricants known to us are, however, an expensive and only temporary solution.
THINGS TO AVOID
Enel is interested in suggestions for commercially available products or easily implementable methods rather than solutions that require significant further development.
Enel is seeking a method to prevent the damage caused by the accumulation of sea salt, moisture, dust, and industrial smoke on the components of medium voltage overhead distribution lines. The method is to be used on existing components and potentially on new components. While a single method applicable across all component types is ideal it is recognized that the variety of different component types may require different methods and Solvers are encouraged to submit overall methods or methods specific to a component type. Enel is interested in suggestions for commercially available products or easily implementable methods rather than solutions that require significant further development.
Any proposed solution should address the following Technical Requirements: 1. Must be applicable to already existing components.
2. Must last at least two years after a single application/use.
3. Must cost less than the following to apply per component:
- Insulator - $1.00
- Staple - $2.00
- Cut-out - $2.20
4. The proposed system should offer the Seeker client “freedom to practice” or be available for potential licensing. There should be no third party patent art preventing the use of specific equipment and materials for their commercial application.
The solutions would preferably satisfy the additional following criteria (but not essential):1. Applicable to new components.
This challenge provides contribution to the following SDGs:
- SDGs 7: Affordable and clean energy
With the introduction of new corrosion prevention methods, Enel contribute to improve the efficiency of the global electric system by increasing the life of the assets and reducing maintenance and costs
- SDGs 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustanainable industrialization and foster innovation
Enel seeks the innovation of new additives or materials to prevent the corrosion over the lines in order to the resilient of the electric system
Enel seeks environmental friendly new methods to eliminate or reduce the corrosion in MV
- The submitted proposal should include the following:Detailed description of the proposed solution and an explanation of how it works.
- Example of use cases where the solution has proven effective (if available).
- Description of the maintenance necessary for the method.
- Cost estimate per component type.
The proposal should not include any personal identifying information (name, username, company, address, phone, email, personal website, resume, etc.) or any information the Solvers may consider as their Intellectual Property they do not want to share.