This project aims to deliver a safer, less disruptive and more resource efficient way of repairing and replacing LV and Service cables, so as to provide an improved service to our customers. The following work packages are intended to develop, trial, evaluate and rollout the Mini-Mole into BaU for UK DNOs:
W.P 1 – Initial technology trials and development phase (completed during IFI 1417 Keyhole Trenchless Technologies)
- Review of existing miniature directional drilling excavation techniques and how applicable they are for LV application.
- Understanding the changes that’s will have to be implemented to ensure that Mini-Mole can become a cost effective solution for these applications
W.P 2 – Onsite testing and review of existing methods and technology (partially completed during IFI 1417 Keyhole Trenchless Technologies)
- Onsite testing and reviewing of bespoke unit
- Establish baseline criteria where the Mini-Mole unit will offer increased savings against conventional open cut trenching techniques
W.P 3 – Development of prototype units
- Successful modification of existing technology to fit with use case and requirements
- Onsite trials in a variety of location to evaluate the effectiveness or otherwise of unit
- Develop robust use case and tracking methodology
W.P 4 – Integration into BaU
- If successful this WP will look identify all the requirements and recommendations for UK DNOs to adopt this technology as BaU
- Review of the potential benefits Mini-Mole could offer UK DNOs
Upon completion of the work packages the following success criteria has been highlighted.
- The delivery of a viable alternative to traditional open cut trenching for LV cable applications.
- Quantified comparisons of current methods compared to using Mini-Mole.
The project was closed early for the reasons mentioned above.
The main lessons learned from this project are that this technology may have applications in limited circumstances; however, the number of sites which are appropriate for use are not consistent, and the scale of the projects meant that that they were not always financially viable.