Cresatech, the specialists in continuous and real time M2M communication technology and service solutions, has completed a successful project with one of the UK’s largest power suppliers, ScottishPower Energy Networks, to successfully decrease the number of copper theft incidents experienced at numerous vulnerable substation locations.

The purpose of the project was to evaluate a new technology that could continuously monitor the integrity of substation earthing equipment for disturbance due to theft, degradation or removal of metallic infrastructure. By deploying Cresatech CuTS® ZM, a scalable solution designed for service environments where safety and continuity are paramount, ScottishPower are alerted, in real time, as theft events occur so safety and service risks can be mitigated in the most suitable and effective manner.

After liaising with the local districts, utilising local knowledge and reviewing past history of vandalism and theft, a number of substation locations were chosen for the trial. The locations were reviewed to ensure their suitability, an installation plan developed and CuTS was deployed using ScottishPower resources. This approach enabled the monitors to be evaluated against conventional alternative preventative measures and also increased the chance that they would be triggered by an actual theft.

The project received extremely positive feedback, reporting the effectiveness of the Cresatech CuTS® system; “During the trial period there was not a copper theft incident at any of the chosen 25 sites,” the report from ScottishPower Energy Networks and Cresatech highlighted. “a number of pre-planned and random tests were carried out to simulate the removal or tampering of earthed infrastructure. These tests provided confirmation that the Cresatech CuTS® unit and service is a viable solution for the detection and mitigation of safety impact and service continuity issues that result from metal infrastructure theft from electrical networks.”

Mark Cowan, Head of Sales, Cresatech, comments, “The worldwide metal theft pandemic has significant security, safety, service continuity and financial consequences in many service environments, and we are regularly reminded of the consequential damage, power losses, fires, death and injury to both the public and company employees associated with metal theft from electrical power delivery networks. This project was therefore the ideal opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of a low cost solution to address this issue.”

To find out more about the project, download the full report here.