Innovator Support: Digital Engineering

A wide range of environmental conditions, especially wind, are known to impact the wear of overhead lines (OHLs) conductors and fittings, influencing how long they can reliably function before they need replacing.

Digital Engineering has developed technology that can precisely monitor the impact of weather on OHLs, allowing businesses to invest in maintenance and upgrades in a far more efficient way.

Energy Systems Catapult is supporting Digital Engineering through our Innovator Support Platform to help maximise its growth and impact on the energy system.

The Innovation

Digital Engineering uses weather simulation and modelling to provide information to support capital planning, management and operational budgeting for OHLs.

The impact of wind induced wear and pollution causing corrosion on overhead lines are modelled in order to prioritise inspections and help to justify asset life extensions. These data sets provide information to support the deferment of investment decisions and optimisation of line routing.

The Challenge and Opportunity

Utility companies already employ methods of classifying OHLs spans in terms of wear and defects, but Digital Engineering’s technology provides the same data in less time and at reduced expense, without resorting to invasive or destructive testing.

By quantifying the effect of both wind exposure and corrosion on the expected defect rates of OHL assets, this data enables the optimisation of investment by providing a clearer understanding of asset deterioration over time.

Digital Engineering is able to apply its wind-induced wear and corrosion models to any OHL asset, anywhere on the planet, and calculate asset life modifiers that will not only optimize asset management strategies, but also increase system reliability and protect investment.

Our Approach

Energy Systems Catapult is home to the Innovator Support Platform (ISP), which provides carefully selected innovators with tailored business incubation and acceleration support to help address barriers to growth, de-risk innovation, scale-up the business and secure investment.

Acceleration Support

Scale-up support for selected high-impact potential SMEs and links to investors, including business model development and validation, access to the Catapult’s demonstration environments such as the Living Lab, engagement with potential corporate customers, investment readiness and partnership development, access to international opportunities.

The Catapult and its partners will deliver:

  • Market study to understand the international landscape for its services and develop entry strategies
  • Conduct a digital data fitness assessment to understand the data enablers for the business model
  • Review the customer value proposition and business model and develop a customer journey
  • Carry out an investor readiness audit and develop the pitch to help secure additional funding
  • Deliver a markets, policy and regulation masterclass to help understand the existing and emerging landscape.