Weather data collection for transmission line operation
Date: 1997 – Ongoing
Providing high-resolution, accurate and reliable weather data to support the operation of Tasmania's transmission line network
TasNetworks owns and utilises a network of monitoring stations that provide important information to support the management of Tasmania’s transmission lines. The monitoring stations measure external weather conditions such as wind speed and air temperature. This data informs the dynamic line ratings that maintain operation of TasNetworks’ transmission lines within their thermal limits and minimum clearance. Without the important monitoring information, operation of the transmission lines must revert to conservative workbook ratings to prevent conductor damage and excessive sagging.
Tasmania participates in Australia’s National Electricity Market, so TasNetworks supplies transmission line power ratings to AEMO every minute to maximise Tasmania’s power transmission and support energy trading. If weather information is unavailable, the standard workbook values based on date and time of day must be provided to AEMO, significantly lowering the transmission line rating.
Entura has supported TasNetworks’ transmission line monitoring since the late 1990s. We have designed, supplied and installed 17 weather monitoring stations across Tasmania on key TasNetworks transmission line sites, including establishing newer sites from 2016 onwards at Smithton, Hadspen substation and Trevallyn substation.
The off-grid, solar-powered weather stations comprise of a 10 meter mast fitted with an array of weather instrumentation. While ambient temperature and wind speed are most critical for dynamic line ratings, data is also collected for wind direction, solar radiation and relative humidity.
Custom control scripts allow for remote monitoring of site health and diagnostics including battery volts, communication troubleshooting and remote power cycles.
Some sites are also fitted with strain gauges to measure line tension. Data collected from the stations is fed via custom designed private radio networks to the TasNetworks’ SCADA system, and is then calculated to provide the utility with dynamic line ratings.
The remoteness of sites can pose challenges for data collection. We leverage years of remote station design and installation to deliver cost-effective, long-lasting and accurate monitoring assets in some of Australia’s harshest environments.
Because it can be difficult to achieve reliable data delivery in remote TasNetworks sites, Entura has applied radio modelling software to inform and optimise the design of communications paths. Highly variable topography and limited power availability requires the most efficient communications route to be determined.
Entura monitors TasNetworks’ data through our Ajenti Data Management System (ADMS), which alerts us if sites go offline. Immediate outage alerts allow efficient response times and issue rectification, bolstering the uptime and reliability of the monitoring network.
As part of our operations and maintenance services, Entura also conducts annual site visits to assess instrument performance and conduct general site maintenance. Our O&M program is informed by practices recommended by the Bureau of Meteorology and World Meteorological Organization. This ensures that our monitoring assets are performing at their best. Our field personnel perform thorough performance checks on instruments using calibrated check meters, and record their findings through custom electronic field notes.
- data collection
- operation and maintenance
- instrumentation installation
- datalogger installation
- custom control scripts
- communication system design
- communication system desktop analysis
- meteorological instrumentation performance check to Bureau of Meteorology standards
Entura’s expertise in collecting, monitoring and managing complex data enables a consistent flow of dependable information to TasNetworks from the transmission monitoring stations.
With good data, TasNetworks can optimise the operation of Tasmania’s transmission system to achieve maximum capacity, efficiency and safety.