Sensor design and historical data analysis for condition monitoring of overhead conductors

The key challenge of condition monitoring is to predict, based on non-destructive inspection and operating data, whether or not a piece of equipment needs replacing or not. In this case the piece of equipment is an overhead power conductor – a critical element in electrical power supply. Measuring the voltage level of an overhead conductor presents a challenging engineering problem.

The goal of this project would be to take a design concept for a wireless overhead conductor voltage sensor and fashion it into a working design that can undergo simulation analysis and potentially be built. Key design requirements will be that the sensors are passive or parasitic (i.e. draw no power other than that garnered from the conductor to which they are attached). These design concepts are presently being developed in an initial project phase.The student will be provided with 1-2 design concepts and asked to turn these into working design briefs suitable for another student to work with/test.

A critical element of condition monitoring is attempting to reconcile the know data e.g. voltage & current in the line as well as other data that is partially known (primarily ambient conditions – temperature and wind speeds) and compare the calculated/predicted “condition” of the line to that measured. The student will be provided with historical data for a conduction line – and will be asked to develop (using standard models available from the literature) an estimate of the condition of the line. In this specific project, the student will need to develop an efficient approach to collating and incorporating years of data.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Derek Oliver


Phani Bala



Engineering - computer / electrical




University of Manitoba


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