iX Challenge: overhead conductor line sag measurement

The Innovation Exchange programme is working alongside Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN-T), the owner of north Scotland’s high voltage electricity assets. SSEN-T is looking to engage innovators that can help them solve the challenge of accurately detecting sagging overhead conductor cables in remote locations.

Opportunity Details


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Successful applicants will be given an opportunity to pitch their innovation to SSEN-T. Selected solution(s) will be trialled at key SSEN-T sites, with the possibility of further roll out if trials are successful.

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Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks Transmission (SSEN-T) is the owner of the high voltage electricity assets in the north of Scotland, including the 132kV, 275kV and 400kV electricity network. Whilst operating in the north of Scotland, SSEN-T faces some of the most extreme weather conditions in the UK, which can result in thick, dense ice forming on the overhead lines, causing them to sag under the weight of the accrued ice.

Until now, to control the risk, SSEN-T has previously installed an indirect monitoring system aimed at detecting weather conditions leading to ice build-up and sending a notice when these conditions are present. This system has proved unreliable, producing a high number of false alarms, requiring interpretation of photos to discern if a potential risk is occurring and therefore costing significant staff time.

The Challenge

SSEN-T requires an improved monitoring system that can directly determine any issues of conductor line sagging, eliminating the false alarms and need for interpretation. An ideal solution will consist of a cost effective unit which is self-contained, self-powered and can operate continuously. This unit can then be mounted on transmission towers or conductors to detect conductor line sagging and remotely communicate with control systems.

We anticipate Innovative ideas may come from sectors including, but not limited to:

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Nuclear
  • Engineering
  • Electronics, Sensors & Photonics
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Surveyors and survey instrumentation
  • AI or Geospatial innovations

SSEN-T recognises that the solution may not come from one innovative solution provider alone and would welcome innovative ideas that perhaps do not offer a complete solution as it might be possible to combine ideas into one complete solution.

For full details of technical requirements, click below to visit the Innovation Exchange website.


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