Description of the problem by staff of EnBW gave rise to the idea of developing a method to detect ice deposits on power lines based on the experience gained from the “free-line sensor”.
As such ice deposits may form within hours, the method has to work online and to be independent of meteorological situations, such as snow or fog. In addition, the area affected is to be localized. Contrary to the “free-line sensor”, this method does not focus on the ground, but evaluates the propagation of electromagnetic fields between two conductors of the power line.
Precipitation causes a direct change of the signal and it is expected that the difference in dielectric properties of air, water, and ice yields characteristic signals. These signals are recorded by measurement systems installed along the power line and transmitted to a central control station for further processing.