Coming Soon To The US, These ‘Magic Balls’ For Grid Power Lines Can Increase Capacity By 30%


Heimdell Power, a Norwegian company named after the mythical Norse god, is revolutionizing the way power lines transmit electricity with the aid of a small yet powerful sphere, akin to a soccer ball in size.

This innovative technology, already making waves across Europe, is now making its debut in North America, starting with Minnesota and Michigan.

According to Michelle Lewis, writing for Electrek, contemporary power lines are largely considered “dumb,” meaning they lack the capability to provide real-time data on electricity delivery, including whether there is surplus or deficit in supply. As a result, there is a lack of immediate insight into their operational status in many cases.

In a nation like the United States of America, where a vast network of 160,000 miles of power lines sprawls across the landscape, the untapped potential is immense.

Heimdall’s premier product, the Neuron, is effortlessly installed within minutes by a drone. This spherical sensor, designed to be mounted on high-voltage power lines, continuously monitors crucial parameters such as voltage, temperature, and electrical current angles in real-time.

It then transmits this data back to grid managers, enabling them to make informed decisions. For instance, they can identify instances of significant over-transmission in specific grid areas, allowing for adjustments to save costs for consumers or reallocating excess electricity to regions with higher demand.

The development of the Neuron was a collaborative effort with the Norwegian utility Arva, which has since integrated the technology extensively throughout its grid infrastructure.

Department manager at Arva, Trond Are Bjørnvold, says in a statement, “Both Arva and other grid companies are going to build out the power grid, to double the capacity we have today over the next ten years. The investments will be enormous, but we should not invest more than necessary. We should also strive to prioritize the development in the correct order.”

With the Neurons: “We now know exactly how much spare capacity that is available in the line, and how much power we could potentially send through the network,” Bjørnvold added.

In a statement, Heimdall asserted that enhanced control over the power lines has resulted in significant savings for customers, amounting to hundreds of millions of Norwegian Kroner, equivalent to almost $10 million.

To enhance the precision of the Neuron, Heimdall has collaborated with Switzerland-based Meteometrics. This partnership integrated machine learning data and computational software on weather conditions in to the Neuron, further refining its capabilities. As a result, this upgraded product is now making its way to the US market through agreements with Great River Energy in Minnesota and another undisclosed publicly-traded utility in Michigan.

Paul Walsh, CEO of Meteomatics North America, said, “By combining our weather insights with Heimdall Power, we’re offering companies a look into their real-time power line capacities—something that a majority of energy grid companies have not had access to before.

“We’re looking forward to continuing our work together stateside,” he added.


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