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Success Stories

Proven success in addressing a range of industry challenges.

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Read just some of the most recent customer successes using Neara’s platform, ranging from transmission line route design to network-wide risk identification to severe weather response.

Optimized asset inspection and design

Module mitigation graphic

Overview

Neara helped a large utility of New South Wales in Australia optimize asset inspection and design workflow, delivering an ROI of ~200-400%.

Challenge

  • The utility had vast amounts of LiDAR, but no comprehensive method to analyze or utilize the data
  • The utility had limited visibility of the condition/risks associated with their network assets and relied on manual inspections, leading to suboptimal inspections work and spend
  • The utility was using spreadsheets to create their 2D distribution designs which was inefficient and often led to significant rework

Solution

  • Neara built a full 3D digital twin of the utility’s network, which is now used by the utility and their contractors to triage risks (e.g. vegetation encroachment, overloaded poles, aged poles) – enabling effective bundling of inspections work and reducing unnecessary inspections/replacements
  • Neara’s Design Modules were also implemented, enabling 3D engineering-grade network design, helping the utility streamline their design process

Results

  • Enabled ~$3-5m annual asset inspection spend reduction (or reduced site visits by ~3,000 within first year), translating to a return on investment of ~200-400%
  • ~85% time saved in creating and modifying network designs translating to higher workforce efficiency (making models on Neara only takes ~3 minutes compared to 30 minutes using traditional methods)

Pole-tip loading at-scale

Structural module graphic

Overview

Neara enabled a large utility of Victoria in Australia to conduct pole-tip loading at-scale, resulting in 20-25k pole replacement deferrals without compromising safety.

Challenge

  • The utility had made a regulatory commitment to identify and remediate any condemned poles across their network
  • Initially, the client relied on an age-based replacement method
  • Neara was engaged to help develop a network model, run pole tip-loading at scale, and identify poles that needed to be condemned across the network

Solution

  • Neara’s Platform enabled the client to perform tip-loading analysis across mains and service poles in the network; this involved both static design analysis and in-depth Finite Element Analysis (FEA)
  • Performed in-depth analysis using Neara on the utility’s initial estimate of 25-30k poles to be condemned

Results

  • Enabled utility to perform pole analysis and inspections 2x faster than alternative methods
  • Significantly reduced number of poles condemned from 25-30k poles down to 3-5k poles using Neara, saving REPEX/OPEX from deferral replacements without compromising safety and network integrity
  • Digitized pole tiploads information and analysis (vs. having to manually extract from asset records), enabling the utility to more efficiently execute on their risk-based asset management program

Network planning, risk management, and weather response

Overview

Neara helped a large utility of New South Wales, Australia improve on network planning, risk management and weather response.

Challenge

  • They were looking for a design software solution across both their distribution and sub-transmission network
  • Beyond design use cases, the utility was also focused on improving data quality of their network assets and improving network planning and operations

Solution

  • Initially, Neara created a unified design platform for the utility’s engineering teams across distribution and sub-transmission
  • However, when the NSW floods in 2021 occurred, Neara was able to rapidly conduct flood damage analysis (by overlaying flood data) for their affected network within 48hrs of flood commencing, helping the utility understand what assets were damaged/at-risk
  • Neara is now working with the utility to build a full scale digital twin of both their overhead and underground network

Results

  • Enabled the utility to respond faster and more efficiently to the floods, resulting in faster restoration of power to the community
  • Enabled line rating study to be completed ~4x faster than traditional methods
  • The utility realized the impact Neara can have, not only on design, but also in helping identify, simulate and manage network risks, and improve operational efficiency

Network risk identification

Clash module graphic

Overview

Neara helped a large utility of Victoria in Australia conduct whole-of-network risk identification in 4 months versus their original plan of 3 years.

Challenge

  • The utility had made a regulatory commitment to identify and remediate conductor clashing issues across their network
  • Neara was engaged to initially help identify potential conductor clashing issues across their high bushfire risk network

Solution

  • Neara built a digital twin of the utility’s network, and performed conductor clash analysis across all conductors in high bushfire risk areas
  • The Neara Platform significantly accelerated the risk identification process, enabling the utility to maintain a safer network for their customers

Results

  • Enabled risk identification to be performed 10x faster; it took only 4 months (versus the original plan of 3 years without Neara) to calculate risks across the entire network
  • Enabled reduced spend on risk identification; which is now ~5-10x cheaper as compared to the utility’s original plan which relied heavily on manual on-site risk assessments
  • As a result of the work, the utility is now looking to expand scope of analysis across the entire network to address other needs (e.g. pole tip loading analysis)

Vegetation management

Overview

Neara helped a large New Zealand utility optimize vegetation management workflow and spend.

Challenge

  • A large New Zealand utility was collecting LiDAR for the first time across their network, and are planning to continue to collect LiDAR across multiple years to come in order to compare network changes (e.g. vegetation changes)
  • They were looking for a solution to visualize vegetation changes, conduct vegetation-related analysis, and provide dashboards for management / operators
  • Previously, their vegetation trimming process relied on manual inspections and were done at a fixed periodic cycle

Solution

  • Neara ingested classified LiDAR to precisely fit a digital twin model of the network and extract individual trees using a tree-segmentation algorithm
  • Neara delivered two modules of analytics results:
    1) Compliance-related: Defining vegetation encroachment zones according to regulatory requirements; and
    2) Client-defined: Zones defined by the client, to be experimented on and further refined
  • Neara provided customizable dashboard functionality for the utility to construct operational and managerial dashboards

Results

  • Minimized the need to perform site-scoping before commencing vegetation trimming campaigns, reducing vegetation management spend
  • Desktop analysis of vegetation enabled better understanding of how many trees to cut, where to cut, and how to bundle works together, yielding both efficiency and cost saving benefits
  • Ensured compliance with regulatory vegetation management requirements
  • Neara is now working with the utility on turning encroachment data into holistic risk-management solutions

Design and plan new transmission line routes

Overview

Rapidly design and plan new transmission line route across the network.

Challenge

  • A renewables company approached Neara to define a transmission line route that would see a solar farm be connected to the power grid
  • This 60 km transmission line route traversed complex terrain and needed to fulfill the following requirements:
    • Stringent clearance and easement regulations
    • Strict derating factors to ensure the structural integrity of towers, components and cables
    • Navigating stakeholder boundaries
    • Optimize span length against requirements to optimize expenses
  • The client needed a detailed design and AutoCAD drawings of the entire route to be completed in 4-weeks that complied with all project requirements

Solution

  • Implementation of Neara’s end-to-end platform for the entire project inclusive of planning, design, and construction and maintenance workflows; engineers collaborated on designs in real-time while working from home, scaling productivity
  • Data sets including asset specifications, route restrictions, business priorities and other factors were input into Neara
  • Multiple line routes were generated and optimized for stakeholder requirements, land restrictions, cost and safety
  • Dashboards, reports and 3D models were created and exported to stakeholders to communicate proposed development of the transmission line route

Results

  • Completed transmission line planning, design and drawings in under 2 weeks, which would have taken the client up to 3 months to complete without Neara
  • Improved stakeholder engagement through easy-to-understand design visualizations
  • Immediate problem identification and solution design through real-time 3D analysis tools

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