It is the size of a football and has a modest weight. But when the Neuron is mounted on the high-voltage lines, it provides information that saves you money.
This article was originally produced by and published on the websites of Arva, a long-standing Heimdall Power customer. All photos within this article are provided courtesy of Arva. You can find the original article (in Norwegian) by clicking here.
You probably haven’t noticed them, but scattered around Northern Norway, there are over fifty of these devices, called Neurons.
At the control center of Arva in Tomasjord in Tromsø, Inga Setså Holmstrand and Knut Ivarsson Elverum can read the information that the “magic” balls send in real-time.
“We now know exactly how much spare capacity that is available in the line, and how much power we could potentially send through the network,” explains Trond Are Bjørnvold, department manager of Network Development at Arva.
Saved network fees
The Neurons provided by Heimdall Power have been worth their weight in gold, literally, for both society and electricity customers. Until recently, it seemed clear that building a new power line to the Malangen Peninsula was necessary. This would have required investments of over 100 million NOKs.
However, by using the technology in the Neurons, and the information they provide, it was recognized that it was sufficient to utilize the existing network even better.
More than fifty of these sensors are placed around Northern Norway on Arva’s line network. They tell exactly how much capacity that is available in the line.
“This summer, we have greatly benefited from the Neurons in our maintenance work in Nordland. We were able to disconnect one of two parallel lines and ‘overload’ the other because we had full control of the temperature,” says Trond Are Bjørnvold, department manager at Arva.
Combined, the Neurons have helped save several hundred million through their lifetime – which otherwise would have been part of the network fees to be paid by the end users.
And the best part: No customers noticed anything.
Doubling the capacity
“Both Arva and other grid companies are going to build out the power grid, to double the capacity we have today over the next ten years. The investments will be enormous, but we should not invest more than necessary. We should also strive to prioritize the development in the correct order,” explains Bjørnvold.
“By actively using technology, we are better able to prioritize correctly and keep costs down,” closes Bjørnvold.