Fundamentals boosts AI and ML profile with Powerline buy

By Dominic Ellis
Fundamentals has bought Powerline Technologies to strengthen its big data and ML offering to network operators and meet future electrification demands

Fundamentals has bought Powerline Technologies for an undisclosed fee, strengthening its big data and ML offering to network operators and meet future electrification demands.

Powerline's product range covers smart maintenance and accurate detection, classification and location of faults and power quality events on LV and MV underground distribution networks, helping DNOs reduce maintenance costs, customer minutes lost and increasing network operational efficiency, according to its website.

As network operators experience significant costs and customer outages due to faults on underground cables, they are looking for ways to run more reliable networks at lower cost.

Fundamentals' AI-powered asset management software locates faults before they happen, analysing voltage waveforms and identifying energy fault signatures on unusual underground cable events.

The company recently worked with Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) and UK Power Networks to spot network faults before failure using preventative maintenance.

This proof-of-concept ‘SYNAPS’ project was backed by Ofgem’s innovation funding and is one of few Network Innovation Allowance (NIA) projects to be taken through to a Phase 2 project. 

The project successfully enabled engineers to use a library of big data drawn from networks, in conjunction with AI, ML and deep learning, to predict and locate faults on network infrastructure before they cause device or fuse failures. Data collected in the ‘SYNAPS’ project including current, voltage and fault waveforms has been shared with all DNOs.

Jon Hiscock, Managing Director of Fundamentals, said as part of its five-year plan, it is committed to investing in unique AI problem-solving software and techniques to solve the most complex electricity grid challenges in the transition to green energy.

"Our heritage and industry expertise coupled with Powerline’s technology enables Network Operators to advance their strategic imperatives, ultimately lower costs and secure the energy we all rely on every day," he said. 

Powerline Technologies’ Brian Lasslett and David Brain will lead an innovation sub-team and act as Head of IP and Head of Research respectively.

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