LCNI 2016: Using technology to put safety first
Over the next few days, the energy community will descend on Manchester for the Low Carbon Networks and Innovation Conference.
Over 1,200 delegates from 23 countries will come together to discuss the latest technological advancements impacting the sector. From renewable energy to robotics technology, the show will focus on the hottest industry trends, and we will be there to discuss why, and more importantly how, DNOs should tackle the issue of copper theft.
This Summer instances of copper theft rose by 600% on Merseyside with 68 instances reported in August alone, leaving numerous substations without earthing. Beyond the obvious financial cost for DNOs to replace the copper itself, from a safety perspective, an unearthed substation can have severe consequences. From causing fires, to potential electrocution of DNO staff or even unsuspecting members of the public, the grave effects copper theft can have means it is essential for DNOs to react quickly.
For many DNOs, the response to copper theft is to up security levels; bringing in equipment to better protect substations in a bid to keep criminals out. Of course this makes sense and should be a priority, but there is more that can be done in the interest of protecting public employee and contractor safety.
The theft of copper doesn’t actually stop a facility from working, it simply puts it in a high-risk, precarious state, leaving a DNO blissfully unaware until something goes wrong. Fortunately, new technology is coming to the fore to alert DNOs to copper theft in real time, allowing them to proactively respond and address the issues before the worst happens. By using sensors and Internet of Things technology, DNOs can be alerted to copper theft virtually as it happens, giving them the knowledge to act fast.
At LCNI we will explain how the technology works and how it can give those responsible for substation safety the upper hand when it comes to mitigating the damage done by copper thieves.
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