Innovation improving public safety

31 March 2023

Essential Energy recently trialed voltage detection technology in ten towns across its regional footprint, as a high-tech way to increasing public safety.

In partnership with global technology leader Osmose, the two-month trial program rolled out across 10 selected NSW locations and covered more than 2,500km of ground across Essential Energy’s electricity network.

Head of Operations Brendon Neyland said, “We are pleased to partner with Osmose on the trial, after seeing the public safety benefits the system is delivering worldwide.

“The technology detects minute levels of electricity that may be present in earthed objects, providing us with an opportunity to investigate and ensure any potential safety concerns are addressed.

“This process is completed from street level, using a vehicle fitted with cameras and a sensor. Technicians monitor the voltage level readings and detect any leakages.

“In addition to helping us improve public safety, the mobile service could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by being able to address any electrical losses through early detection of leakages,” Brendon added.

“The towns included in the trial were chosen from all over our network to provide a broad understanding of their unique network challenges, including ageing infrastructure, inland and coastal impacts.

“We appreciate the support of the communities involved in the trial and look forward to assessing the positive impacts to public safety and the environment,” Brendon concluded.

A range of metal objects on the street were tested, including bus stop seating, traffic lights, signs, bike stands and utility equipment, with the contact voltage immediately identified.

Osmose technicians commenced work at 4pm and work through until 4am during the program every day during the trial. They will be driving white utility vehicles at low speeds with Essential Energy and Osmose branding.