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Frazer-Nash Gravity Challenge solution wins ‘Challenge Champion’ prize – third time’s a charm!

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Frazer-Nash has been awarded a ‘Challenge Champion’ prize for a digital solution developed as part of the third Gravity Challenge competition.

Frazer-Nash has been awarded a ‘Challenge Champion’ prize for a digital solution developed for South Australia’s electricity transmission network service provider, ElectraNet, as part of the third Gravity Challenge competition.

This makes three in a row, as the company also picked up challenge champion status in the previous two competitions, as well as the separate Galaxy award for ‘most innovative use of space data’ in the inaugural Gravity Challenge.

The Gravity Challenge, organised by Deloitte, aims to find solutions to real industrial, social and environmental problems using novel approaches and space-based data. The ElectraNet challenge was to help it accurately detect electricity transmission line sag, to ensure public and environment safety and enable greater renewable energy output.

The Frazer-Nash team, consisting of Nigel Doyle, Andrejs Jaudzems, Rita Arrigo, and Simon Inverarity, with support and guidance from Anthony Kwong, submitted its PowerMET tool at the start of June, and was down selected by ElectraNet to demonstrate its microclimate modelling solution.

Describing the PowerMET tool, Nigel said:

“ElectraNet needs accurate predictions of line sag, to ensure it can maximise the safe use of its assets. Our solution provides localised weather conditions over each span, enabling the calculation of the sag for each 400m span over the 5,651 km of ElectraNet’s transmission network, and thus the limiting safe rating for that line.

“It offers ElectraNet a pathway to reducing weather station investment costs, and to enabling greater flexibility for its renewable energy exports from South Australia to the other states. I’m looking forward to working with ElectraNet to take this work forward into the scale phase, where this enhanced approach can be rolled out across the entire South Australian transmission network.”

Announcing the winner, at a ‘virtual’ finale event on 12 October, Simon Emms, ElectraNet’s Group Executive Network Services said:

“We were really excited to work with the Gravity Challenge because, for us, it was a way of getting some really smart people – who were effectively pre-selected by the Gravity team – to work on our problems. What we’ve been able to achieve over the last three months is a clear demonstration of a concept that, not only addresses our original problem, but also lends itself to making ElectraNet’s network operations more efficient and safer.

“We worked a lot with Frazer-Nash through our challenge, and it became immediately apparent that they’d grasped the mechanical and electrical aspects of the problem. They’ve shown a high level of enthusiasm to not only understand the problem better, and the exact problem we were trying to solve, but also to develop an approach that addresses the underlying issues. We really enjoyed their combination of engineering capability and innovative thinking.

“Based on their proposal, we’re actually working through an internal project approval to complete the assessment and hopefully look to implement Frazer-Nash’s PowerMET tool.”

A mock up of the PowerMET tool interfaceMock up of the PowerMET tool interface