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WHY DOES IT MATTER

In recent years, the number of fires in Greece for which PPC facilities are responsible has increased. It is a fact that the extensive medium and low voltage network of 238,000 km managed by HEDNO (100% subsidiary of PPC), as well as the 11,000 km high voltage network managed by IPTO (a company that has passed 66% control Public and at a rate of 24% in the Chinese State Grid), can under certain conditions be a source of fire. Fire can also be caused by explosions in transformers, by failures mainly due to poor or insufficient maintenance, and by periods when demand increases due to overload which leads to the deterioration of failures at critical points. At the same time, the phenomenon of local power outages is common in the Greek islands due to transformer failures in the summer months, but also in the large urban centers of Attica and Thessaloniki due to dust accumulation in electric pylon insulators and damage and loss of cables connecting the pylons or damage caused by sabotage leads to fires.

It is revealed that monitoring of so many thousands of kilometers of network by manual human means is a great challenge. For example, it is enough to think that a PPC pillar can have 5-10 insulators, the condition of which is currently manually monitored by human resources (aerial), who will have to climb on each pillar separately to perform a visual control. This introduces huge costs to the workforce while at the same time increasing the risk of having an accident at work. The situation is getting even worse if we consider the number of machines in PPC facilities (outdoor transformers, pylons, etc.) which need systematic and preventive maintenance in some cases.

Based on the above, it is deemed necessary to automate the monitoring of PPC facilities in order to prevent a number of fires, disasters and accidents at work. The Test and Standards Research Center (TSRC) of PPC, is active in providing services to the units of the PPC SA Group, but also to third parties, other than PPC customers, and aims to develop an intelligent system for monitoring critical energy infrastructure based on UAV swarms, integrated with existing monitoring systems. The solution to these issues can be provided by the integration of information technology and robotics for the autonomous monitoring of large-scale installations in critical energy infrastructure located outdoors. It is obvious that the development of such a system will significantly help in the timely prevention of accidents (such as fires) and will provide increased awareness of the situation in the maintenance of energy infrastructure. At the same time, the use of human resources in dangerous tasks will be reduced, while the ability to monitor large areas in a small fraction of the time required by human resources to perform the corresponding actions will be multiplied. Given the current situation and the criticality of the sector, there is an urgent need to optimize surveillance techniques, tools and means, thus increasing their efficiency and reducing critical hazards.

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AUTOPSY project has been co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union and Greek national funds through the Operational Program Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, under the call RESEARCH – CREATE – INNOVATE

The project stared on July 2020 and will be completed on January 2023T

The scientific responsible and coordinator of the project is Dr. Dimitrios Tzovaras form CERTH-ITI

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