Award for modelling closer to reality

Posted July 8, 2015


Network damage in the Byfield area north of Yeppoon, mapped using the ROAMES technology after Tropical Cyclone Marcia passed through the area in February.

Technology developed by Ergon Energy that creates a virtual version of the real world to allow inspection and assessment of electricity networks has received the 2015 International Edison Award.

The Remote Observation Automated Modelling Economic Simulation (ROAMES) technology played an integral role in Ergon’s network restoration efforts following Tropical Cyclone Marcia in the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast areas in February.

Ergon Energy chief executive Ian McLeod said the international honour from the US-based Edison Electric Institute was tremendous recognition for everyone at Ergon who had developed the ROAMES Virtual World Asset Management System.

“ROAMES technology is an aircraft-based laser and imaging capture system which quickly and efficiently maps a network,” Mr McLeod said.

“ROAMES creates a virtual version of the real world to allow the fast and accurate inspection and assessment of electricity networks and the surrounding environment, particularly vegetation, without the need to deploy field crews.

“Today ROAMES continues to help us save millions annually in vegetation management. It contributes to a more reliable electricity supply, creates a safer working environment for crews, and helps get the lights back on to communities more quickly after a natural disaster.”

Edison Electric Institute president Tom Kuhn said the innovative technology had the potential for broad application within and beyond the electric power industry. Dutch multinational Fugro purchased the ROAMES technology last year and now provides the service under a contractual agreement with Ergon and also to other utilities in Australia and overseas.

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