Periodic Reporting for period 1 - AMPERE (ASSET MAPPING PLATFORM FOR EMERGING COUNTRIES ELECTRIFICATION)
Reporting period: 2020-02-01 to 2021-01-31
The solution to the crisis in the electricity sector of the Dominican Republic (DO) is important to restore the country's competitiveness, ensure sustained growth and reduce poverty levels and impact on environment. The tax burden through direct and indirect subsidies has displaced necessary social expenses, thus rising production costs and reducing potential for attracting investment. Recurrent requirement of public resources for the electricity sector in DO has its origin, mainly, on the following issues:
Operational inefficiency of electric distribution companies
Inefficient tariff system inefficient and poor demand management
High costs and vulnerability of generation matrix
AMPERE proposes a solution based on a GIS Cloud mapping technology, collecting on field data acquired with optical/thermal cameras and LIDAR installed on board a Remote Piloted Aircraft (RPA). In particular, a RPA will be able to fly over selected areas performing semi-automated operations to collect optical and thermal images as well as 3D LiDAR-based reconstruction products. Such products are post processed at the central cloud GIS platform allowing operators in planning and monitoring activities by means of visualization and analytics tools can resolve data accessibility issues and improve the decision making process.
The following documents have been delivered after CDR-CO including discussed comments:
• D1. NEC - Requirement No. 1
• D2. EPQ - Requirement No. 2
• D3. POPD - Requirement No. 3
The above documents are now approved. It has been agreed that D1 will be furtherly updated later on the project (AR milestone) to include details on the materials which will be imported to/exported from the EU and copies of import/export authorisations, as required by national/EU legislation.
WP2 Management and Technical coordination
A project CDR-CO has been arranged and successfully achieved.
Dedicated calls have been arranged with all partners for CDR-CO and for procurement activities in order to clarify and detail responsibilities and planning.
Some risks have been identified, in particular about the COVID-19 impact on validation campaign to be arranged in Santo Domingo (See WP4).
WP3 User Requirements and System Specifications
The User Requirement Document (D16) has been finalised in previous quarter. However, a meeting (Call) with CDEEE has been arranged to share more details about designed functionalities for AMPERE solution as reported in D21 AMPERE System Specifications and Design which is the most important document approved during CDR milestone and complemented with additional technical notes (D17, D18, D19, D20).
WP4 System Manufacturing
All activities have been started both impacting drone and cloud platform segments. In particular for the cloud platform a first preliminary version is planned to be built up (demo environment) to start meetings with stakeholders and get initial feedback (according to the AGILE approach).
WP5 Verification and Validation Campaigns
A document (D5.2) describing proposed methodology and planning for verification (including test cases) and validation campaigns has been shared. The plan is clearly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic above all considering that the session has to be executed in Dominican Republic in November 2021. A part of the campaign, about geo-referencing using conventional methods (geodetic GNSS receivers) is not deemed at risk (to date) as to be executed by UNPHU. An open point is raised for the session where the AMPERE solution has to be used, as European partners have to move in Santo Domingo. As a plan B, the consortium has started to identify local drone operator which can eventually manage the campaign with a remote support from European partners.
WP6 Economic viability
The Business Model (D28) and Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) (D29) documents have been delivered. At this stage the figures identify interesting potential businesses as the consortium can exploit its technological experience having the advantage to have started to propose mapping solutions for emerging countries in advance w.r.t. to other companies starting only now (as part of Green Deal) effect to advertise concepts. It is worth that AMPERE already has important stakeholders in latin America, Est Europe (Romania) and Africa (Kenya)
WP7 Exploitation and dissemination
According to the Dissemination Plan, two main activities have been performed:
• participation to User Consultation Platform (UCP) in December 2020
• preparation of an abstract for metroaerospace workshop
• video preparation, to be ready for Q5 (March 2021)
Activties have been disseminated on public social media
Currently, such activities are mainly performed through traditional solutions, i.e. handheld operators equipped infrared cameras to detect hot spots and corona discharges or helicopters. However, this solution is quite expensive, dangerous for the crew and presents several inefficiency factors (principally due to time consuming) consequently resulting in high operational costs.
As a consequence, several companies are working on a roadmap to implement a rigorous live line inspection strategy based on a completely automated mobile platform (basically a RPA) capable of a meaningful payload and a power line data management system including specific tool for image and signal data processing to automatically detect defects or abnormal conditions.
Lately, several RPA-based solutions (same AMPERE approach) have been developed in order to overcome the above-mentioned issues in the inspection and mapping activities. With regards to different service execution methods, the RPA-based one presents several advantages with respect to the traditional techniques. In particular:
• Real-time monitoring;
• Cost and time efficiency enhancement;
• Wider coverage area (enabled by the battery-size enlargement);
• Legal compliance, since RPAs use resolve safety-related issues;
• Possibility to use repairing tools immediately after an issue identification (an example may be the usage of RPAs equipped with flamethrowers to remove debris get stuck on the powerline);
• Maintenance prediction, in order to foresee possible issues that may emerge in future, avoiding any undesired shutdown;
• Continuity of the service of the powerline.