Design And Construct A Power Line Vandalism Monitoring System Using Electronic System
This paper presents the design and construction of a power line vandalism detection system. The system is based on a high-voltage transmission line anti tampering electronic security device specially designed to remotely monitor and protect the lineagainst vandals. This system detects when the transmission line is vandalized and as well when the vandally entered in the vicinity where the power line tower is installed. It communicates wirelessly to power line operators and the law enforcement using radio frequency (RF) signal network. This project is very significant for power line security and maintenance access control. It secures utility facilities, transformers, substations, power plant generation, transmission and distribution facilities located which at the end of this project will be reduced by 30%, although more innovations need to be done to curb this illegal activity. The proposed system will increase the revenue through power distribution and will aid the power system employees to rectify the errors without much difficulty.
1.1 Background of the Study
This project gives the insight on the design and construction of a transmission power line vandalism detector system. Vandalism means destructive action. It is a hateful and deliberate defacement/destruction of somebody else’s property or national assets like thehigh-voltage transmission power lines, transmission towers and distribution transformers, etc.The high-voltage transmission power lines strung from support towers form the backbone of the nation’s electric power grid. Many of those 158,000 miles of lines, supported by nearly 800,000 towers, run through isolated areas as they deliver electricity from generating plants to cities. These high-voltage transmission power lines around the world are vulnerable to terrorism, vandalism, physical deterioration and extreme weather.
Every year in Nigeria bad citizens vandalize the power line, towers, transformers, generators and other power transmission/distribution facilities. This causes frequent power failure and power surge that seriously affects over 50 million business firms and manufacturing industries in the country. These companies depend on electricity power supply from the power line for their productions. If the power line is vandalized, some of their machines cannot be powered on a generator then income, investments and commodities worth billions of Naira will be lost.
If electricity is available during the power line vandalism incident, the lives and properties of the people within the area can be affected as a result of electric shocks, power surge and fire outbreak, etc. Vandalism is now largely driven by the soaring values of copper and aluminum in the international metals market due to increased world market demand fuelled by China and India’s growth in industrialization. Consequently, the vandals now operate in well organized syndicates complete with offices and hierarchy and accumulate large volumes of stolen materials which they eventually consign for export as scrap. Transformer oil, copper and aluminum are the main targets of these vandals. The uses of the stolen transformer oil are:
- Mixed with diesel and sold as fuel,
- Used as fuel for industrial furnaces and as cooling for welding sets,
- Mixed with vegetable oil and sold as cooking oil.
- Used as a cosmetic and treatment for wounds.
- On the other hand, copper and aluminum have been in the past been used on a minimum scale by the informal sector for welding sets but are now mainly exported as scrap. It is this later use that is behind the recent escalation of vandalism.
Vandalism of an electrical transmission line is considered as a deadly national security threat.
The diagram below shows the picture of a vandalized transmission tower.
Figure 1.1: Transmission Towers Vandalism (available in the premium copy)
Power line vandalism affects the economy badly this is due to the burglar gadgets been made every year for the supervision and protection on the power lines. Millions of dollars are used every year to replace, maintain and improve the electricity network, yetthe power delivery system is being threatened by acts of vandalism. Today NEPA and PHCN have been privatized, since in 2013, there were more than 12 incidences of vandalism recorded on the Alaoji-Owerri 132kV line, Jebba-Shirioro 330kV lines, Osogbo-Ayede 330kV line, Oshogbo-Benin 330kV line, Oshogbo Ikeja 330kV line, Jebba-Shirioro 330kV line, Benin-Ikeja West 330kV line, Sapele-Benin 330kV line, Delta-Sapele-Benin 330kV line, Sapele-Benin 330kV line, Benin-Ajaokuta 330kV lines and the Abuja-Keffi 132kV line. Some of these transmission lines were vandalized more than three times.
Vandalism of power installations though inexcusable and unjustified has seen the vandals carting away equipments worth billions of naira. Recently, a series of vandalism of transmission installations in the Southern part of the country were reported because there are no electronic gadgets secretly installed to monitor these lines. This project, the design and construction of a power line vandalism alarm system present a solution to these problems
1.2 Power Line Vanadalism Detector System
A power line vandalismdetector system is a high-voltage transmission line anti tampering electronic security device specially designed to remotely monitor and protect the lineagainst vandals. The system detects when the transmission line is vandalized and as well when the vandals entered in the vicinity where there the transmission line tower is installed. This means that the system can sense unauthorized movement of objects (caused by humans or nature) around the transmission lines.
The system circuitry consists of sensor nodes, buffer, alarm circuit, a power supply unit and a controller which processes data and triggers an alarm. The alarm sound comes from an output transducer called buzzer. The system at the same time communicates wirelessly to the power line operators and the law enforcement using radio frequency (RF) signal network.
1.3 Design Considerations
The first design consideration of the project is the availability of the components to actualize a power line vandalism monitoring system. The available electronic components in the country, with considerations based on sound economic overview for its availability and affordability. In the design the following below are also considered for the effectiveness and further development of the system.
1.4 High Frequency Alarm System
A high frequency alarm sound is used to alert the people at the power station when the vandalism is about to take place. This assist the police, military and Para-military in their duty to ensure adequate monitoring and protection of power lines. The law enforcement bodies cannot be everywhere at every time, so when this alarm sounds at the power station, then they can alert the security agency close to the targeted destination. This is why in this project design included a high frequency alarm which can give an attractive high frequency sound that can alert anyone around when the vandals intruded to the power line vicinity.
1.5 Aims and Objectives
The aim of this project is to design and construct a power line vandalism monitoring system using electronic system that can monitor and report vandalism of the power line. The objectives are to properly secure transmission power lines and towers against vandalism, which would enable the PHCN to transmit quality and reliable bulk power in a viable and efficient manner.
1.6 Significance of the Project
The project is very significant for power line security and maintenance access control. It provides security to installations that in most out of sight areas.
Other significant of the project are:
- It effectively monitors movement of these vandals when they cross their boundary and alerts the power line operators and the people around since it is also the duty of every citizen to protect and guard national asset.
- This project can be deactivated or reconfigured when an authorized personal are present in the power transmission line zone.
- The project can be used in any place around the world
- It secures utility facilities, transformers, substations, power plant generation, transmission and distribution facilities located which at the end of this project, the vandalism of PHCN properties will be greatly reduced.
1.7 Scope of Project
The project detects when the power line cuts that is immediately the cable is disconnected, whether there is power or not.
1.8 Limitations and Suggestions for Further Developments
One of the major constraints to this project work is funding while its limitations and suggestion for developments are:-
- The backup power supply of the project is battery. Batteries do not last longer as result of excess power consumption so in the future it will be better to use a standalone power supply system, (solar energy).
- The system did not have a television surveillance system to automatically record the activities of vandals.
- The project does not have a GPS or auto alert system by sms to alert the nearest security agency.
- The project does not have a light dependent motion sensor which can detect a vandal meters away before he starts operation.
The design and development of transformer monitoring system against vandalism are one of the modern technologies that can help save a lot of money lost due to this illegal activity. Millions of dollars are spent every year due to power vandalism, therefore, this design will be able to offer 24/7 security. It is cheap to design and maintain and install on the transformer surface where the vandals cannot detect or see it. The suppliers should try to design the transformer that can accommodate this monitoring system in the future.
The buzzer is used to create sound alarm in case the sensor identifies an intruder near the transformer. The buzzer will be driven by transistor 2N2222 which will be acting as a switch and a current amplifier because of the current from the Arduino 20mA and it is not enough to drive the buzzer that requires more current. Therefore, a 2N2222 transistor of a 100 gain can have an output current of 1A that can be used to drive the buzzer. In addition, this transistor will be used as an isolator. Because there will be an isolation at the base region of the transistor where the base is connected to the Arduino, in case there is the destruction of the collector-emitter junction, the base will not be affected hence saving the Arduino from being burned. A resistor of 100 ohms will also be required at the base to limit the amount of current entering the transistor.
The design will need a push button switch to reset the alarm once the security officers attend the alert.
The future work will be to modify the same proposed system to facilitate the detection of fault in the power system along with the power theft. With the inclusion of detection circuit for both the power theft and fault in the same proposed system, the power system will be more efficient. The implementation of such detection circuit will increase the revenue through power distribution and will aid the power system employees to rectify the errors without much difficulty.
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