Sensor Monitoring of Manhole Infrastructures
In America’s biggest cities hundreds of service manholes catch fire or explode every year.
Manhole explosions can occur when underground electrical wires are damaged, causing sparks that ignite surrounding gases. This is caused primarily by bad weather and flooding interacting with aging power infrastructures.
To protect the people from these risks, our client wanted a system that could detect and transmit early warnings about sites before they reached a critical state, so preventative action could be taken.
Plextek supported the design and manufacturing of a sensor array capable of operating in this harsh environment.
This included a novel power harvesting technique to extend the sensor lifespan using locally available “free” energy sources.
To enable the client to quickly deploy the product into the market, we worked to a reduced timescale in delivering a fully functioning working prototype and software interface.
Our solution utilises a range of environmental sensors to detect and monitor the conditions of infrastructural systems so maintenance can be carried out.
The system prevents and mitigates the risk of gas explosions, stray voltage, flooding and other breaches of safety, environmental and quality control regulation.
Positively received by our client, Plextek are now working with them to refine the current design to support additional visual sensors and 4G capability.