Storm modelling yields significant savings by preventing unnecessary investments

KSS Verkko Oy is a power grid company operating in the Kouvola area. We want to prepare ourselves as well as possible for storm-related repairs and minimise any power outages caused to our customers. Soon, new requirements on the security of supply will be imposed by the upcoming act on power grids. Our operating area features about 2,000 km of overhead power cable that has in the past suffered storm damage. The easiest solution would of course be to run all cables underground, but this does not come cheap. Decisions on cablings must be made on sufficient grounds. We would naturally like to increase security of supply with regard to overhead cables as well.

Numerola has produced storm models for the entire scope of our power grid area, making it easier for us to identify the riskiest locations and plan maintenance measures and investments. Our goal is to construct a sufficiently weatherproof power grid, keeping the costs under control – not too much cabling work but enough. In fact, the storm modelling revealed that the need for cabling was smaller than we initially believed. In other words, the modelling will yield significant savings by preventing unnecessary investments.

Assistance in anticipating storm damage

Modelling maps are also very helpful in the planning of maintenance arrangements for cable paths and the surrounding woods. The models enable us to prioritise high-risk areas. We can also use the maps to anticipate possible future storms. If we observe a storm approaching from a specific direction, we can anticipate the situation and repercussions more accurately. This will provide extremely useful insights in the future. On-site visits have proven that the areas indicated by the analysis really are high-risk locations. Once we finish integrating the maps fully into our own grid data system, I believe the possible applications will broaden even further.

If the power grid covers a large area, local knowledge is no longer enough to identify risky locations. Moreover, it is impossible to cover all locations with human resources alone – at least not within any reasonable time frame. The storm modelling maps have provided us with a great additional tool for determining the risk level of our power grid. I find the map itself clear and easy to understand. The risk of falling trees and resulting power line damage has been illustrated well with colours.

For us, preparing for this project was not difficult at all. We simply provided Numerola with the initial data, which they then used for the modelling and analyses. We have been very happy with Numerola’s services. They have listened to our needs carefully and stated clearly what can be done in practice. They have extensive expertise in calculation methods, which we can supplement with field-specific knowledge of the power grid sector. This collaboration has worked extremely well.

Jyri Tompuri

Maintenance Manager

KSS Verkko Ltd