Low voltage underground cables are protected from the weather and are less susceptible to damage. However, cable faults do occur and when there is a disruption of electrical service, special devices are used to pinpoint the location of the fault within 5m. When these cables are situated in high traffic area, the current excavation and repair procedures are extremely disruptive. It must be highlighted that the electrical activities (execution of one or more joints) has a negligible impact on costs compared to the civil works (excavation, permitting, etc.) that – by the way – do not affect an asset owned by the distribution company (namely, the cable) but a public or private property.
The ideal solution would be an equipment able to operate with the minimum surface occupancy necessary to reach the faulty point (minimizing excavation duties and costs) and repair the cable with the appropriate intervention, case by case. In South American countries (Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Argentina and Chile) and also Enel’s European networks (Italy, Spain, Romania), where underground lines are more spread, there is a great opportunity to maximize benefit from these kind of solutions.
Enel is searching for an innovative solution capable of excavating and reaching a faulty low voltage (LV) cable followed by repairing the fault underground. Recognizing that these are independent activities, the challenge will be separated in two different modules (Enel with reserve the right to collaborate with a supplier that can deliver both modules or one supplier for each module):
- Module 1: Dig and reach, with the minimum surface occupancy and excavation, the faulty point of the cable with a device equipped with a camera which can avoid damaging other cables or devices. For example, an equipment which can perform like a “laparoscopy”.
- Module 2: Once the fault is located, the equipment shall repair the LV cable. For example, an equipment that can restore the insulation by applying repairing sleeves around the damaged cable.
NOTE: Solvers should identify at least a proposal that satisfies Module 1. Module 2 is a nice to have.
The proposed solution must have the following qualities:
- Allows for visualization of the cable;
- Operates with batteries or a generator;
- Easily transportable by light duty commercial vehicles;
- Minimizes impact on the street/soil;
- Complies with health, safety, and environmental (HSE) regulations and local requirements of countries in scope as listed above;
- Improves/maintains reliability of current methods;
- Is less time consuming than current methods;
- Is cost competitive with current methods;
- Provides flexibility (e.g. different soil conditions).
A proposed solution for Module 1 must have the following qualities:
- Reaches a soil depth of 1,5m
- Locates the affected portion of the cable within 5m horizontally from the initial excavation point
A proposed solution for Module 2 must have the following qualities:
- Determines the appropriate amount of insulator polymer for restoration of function (see attached Enel technical documents)
- Applies the insulator polymer to repair the cable.
The submitted proposal should contain two parts:
1. Collaboration Proposal including:
a. A description of the proposed system with an explanation of how the Solver proposes to address the Solution Requirements for Module 1 and/or Module 2 as well as the technology readiness level (TRL) of the solution. The Solver can withhold proprietary details, but should provide convincing evidence for Enel to appreciate the merits of the approach and be comfortable that the solution can work effectively. The description should include, but is not limited to:
- Presentation of the proposal, outline and how the technology works;
- Development stage (Under lab-scale development / Under development for practical use / Implemented for practical use);
- R&D capability (if development is still needed);
- Past record of application for similar purposes (such as technical papers or other documentation for introducing your developed product);
- Issues expected toward application of this project;
- Sample testing conditions:
- Available sample quantity;
- Required time;
- Pilots realized: pilots with type test realized in accredited laboratory (Attach dossier);
- Pilot installed in field:
- Attach dossier;
- Date, company, location;
- Technical information about the equipment;
- Maintenance of the equipment:
- Activity and periodicity;
- anipulation skills;
- Possible legal considerations;
- Prospect for scaling up;
- Costs/benefits analysis;
b. A brief discussion of capabilities, facilities/equipment, and relevant expertise for executing the proposed solution. The Solver should explain what they can provide and what might be required of the Seeker;
c. An overview of the proposed path forward (materials, deliverables, timelines, cost estimates).
2. General Information about the Solver including:
a. The key contact person for this Challenge (including phone number and email address).
b. Organization/Company/University name and address (including website, if available)
(NOTE: For most Challenges, Solvers are not allowed to include personal contact information; however, for an eRFP Challenge, it is required.)
[NOTE: Only proposals from Solvers who have the ability to work as a collaboration partner will be considered.]