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Product Category: Projects

Product Code: 00006786

No of Pages: 71

No of Chapters: 1-5

File Format: Microsoft Word

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This write up describes the development of a line follower system for the detection of hotspots inside a power substation. It uses an infrared camera connected to the follower which moves along the substation via a steel cable inside the substation. The prototype follower is remotely controlled by a wireless Bluetooth system. The camera is dynamically directed to different substations components through a pan tilt system. The whole structure is controlled by a microcontroller software using Arduino Nano. The line follower is located at some distance away from the control room. Aside from controlling the robot pan-tilt movements, the software also performs the data acquisition and analysis of the monographic arrays thus detecting the referred hotspots.


Cover page i
Title page ii
Certification iii
Declaration iv
Dedication v
Acknowledgment vi
Table of contents vii-ix 
List of Tables x
List of Figures xi
List of Plate xii
Abstract xiii

1.1 Background of the Study 1-3
1.2 Scope of Study 4
1.3 Statement of Problem 4
1.4 Significance of the Study 4
1.5 Aims and Objectives 5
1.5 Justification of Study 5


2.1 Historical Background 6-7
2.1.1 Electrical substation 7 Transmission substation 8 Distribution substation 9        Collector substation 10-11 Converter substations 11-12 Switching station 12-13 Elements of a substation 13-14  
2.1.2 Major causes of hotspots 14-15  
2.1.3 Significance of hotspots 15      
2.1.4 Detection of hotspots 15-18  
2.1.5 Major electrical network susceptible to hotspot and probable damage or result 18 Feeder pillar 18 Low voltage installation 18-19 Power transformer 19 Isolators or disconnecting switches 19 Transformer windings 19 Switchyard terminal equipment 19 Transmission line 19 Instrument transformers 20
2.2 Review of System Components 20-21
2.2.1 Camera 21-23
2.2.2 Pan tilts 23-24
2.2.3 Microcontroller 24-25
2.2.4 Line follower (mobile robotic system) 25-26
2.2.5 Arduino nano 26-27 Power 27 Memory 27 Input and output 27-28 Communication 28-29 Programming 29 Automatic (software) reset 29-30
2.2.6 Bluetooth network module 30       
2.3 Review of Related Work 30-31 
2.3.1 Handheld hotspot detector 31
2.3.2 Line follower robot for hotspot detection 31-32

3.1 Materials Required 33
3.2 Methodology 33-34
3.3 Component used and their Functions 34
3.3.1 Arduino nano 34 Power 35 Memory 35 Input and output 35-36 Communication 36-37 Programming 37 Automatic (software) reset 37-38
3.4 Technical Specifications 38
3.4.1 Arduino nano pin-out 39
3.4.2 How to program arduino nano 39 Program to run on the LED 39-40
3.4.3 Bluetooth network module 40-41
3.4.4 Command and data transfer modes 41-42
3.4.5 Command mode commands 42
3.4.6 Bluetooth master mode 42-43
3.4.7 Slave mode 44
3.5 L293D Driver 44
3.5.1 Pin diagram 46
3.5.2 Pin description 46
3.6 Graphs 47-48

4.1 Results 49-50
4.2 Discussion 51-55

5.1 Conclusion 56-57
5.2 Recommendations 57
5.2.1 Problems encountered 57
References 58-59 


3.1 Components and functions 34

3.2 Pin description of L293D driver 46

3.3 The temperature range of the most used materials in transmission equipment and line 47


2.1 Thermo graphic image showing temperature at a particular point 16

2.2 Protocol stack 23

2.3 Description of the whole system holding the camera monitoring Hotspot 24

2.4 Description of robot communication 32


1.1 The exemplary thermogram of a power line 2
2.1 Transmission substation 8
2.2 Distribution substation 10
2.3 Collector substation 11
2.4 Converter substation 12
2.5 Switching substation 13
2.6 Hotspot monitoring system attached in a power line 17
2.7 Infrared camera principle 21
2.8 Thermographic camera 22
2.9 Microcontroller board 24
2.10 Arduino nano board 26
2.11 Bluetooth network module 30
3.1 Arduino nano pin-out 39
3.2 HC-05 Bluetooth module 40
3.3 L293D driver 45
4.1 Exemplary results of hotspot detection 50
4.2 Temperature range 51
4.3 Damaged connector of phase 52
4.4 An increase in temperature in transformer busing due to dust and dirt accumulation 52
4.5 An increase in temperature in transformer secondary line connections due to the presence of moisture 53
4.6 The transformer overheating which reduce the transformer life 54
4.7 A large ground current due to the unbalanced loads between the three phases 55 


 Power transmission belongs to one of the most important branches of power industry. Their damage, or even adjacent vegetation, may cause serious consequences like disruption in electrical energy supply, big financial losses or even disasters, like fires. The most common types of damage appearing during power transmission are mechanical failures (fractures, collapses of elements of pylons, cracks or degradation of insulators (depending on their type – a glass, ceramic or polymer one), breaks of electrical conductors and corrosion propagation. Another major problem are electrical discharges (the so-called corona discharges), which result in energy losses and accelerated aging of insulators. Requirements related to power transmission, which are high reliability, efficiency and safety, lead to a need of performing their technical diagnostics. Furthermore, since the power transmission system components are permanently exposed to the influence of environment, as well as vandalism or thefts, they are needed to be inspected regularly. Numerous diagnostic methods are applied, these are among other techniques based on electrical parameters measurements, vibration and acoustic measurements, and vision-based procedures – often with use of regular, infrared (IR) and/or ultraviolet cameras. Other methods are applied for monitoring of vegetation encroachment, such as aerial video surveillance, LiDAR (light detection and ranging) scanning and aerial multispectral imaging. The vision-based methods are of a significant importance since it is highly needed to notice destruction or symptoms of aging at their earliest possible stage to avoid damage propagation and its serious after-effects. One of the most widely used tools in this application are infrared cameras because of high effectiveness in detecting damage using them. They allow performing thermal measurements in non-contact manner using the infrared radiation. Changes in temperature may indicate presence of a failure, which can be of an electrical nature (e.g. loose connections, overloads, open circuits, harmonics, inductive heating), mechanical (e.g. cracks of insulators) or electrochemical one (e.g. corroded joints or parts of foundations and pylons). Such failures can be identified by e.g. excessive local heat generation or uneven temperature distribution. 
Plate 1.1: The exemplary thermogram of a power line

The advancement in technology has resulted to the ideal of producing robotic like equipment in power substation and possibly on transmission and distribution lines. The increasing explosion and forced outage resulting from hotspot endemic to power system network leading to considerable reduction in the operations and cost implications has led to the research study and consequential design and constructions of line follower otherwise known as robotic monitoring device. Although precautions have to be taken in design, assembly, construction and installation of these units. To understand critically what is required in this design and construction of the line follower, the knowledge of the hotspot and the causes and effects have to be known. Hotspot is a partial discharge in equipment insulation emitting radiation with high intensity and temperature rise is the major cause of the severity of the arcing that is developed. It is known that any object above 0K emits infrared radiation which when increased can cause damage. Therefore, it is necessary that in a power station periodic automated inspections are done on system components to eliminate the risk of damage caused by hotspots. Hotspots in an industrial plant are major hazards that may lead to the complete damage of the equipment if left undetected for a long time.  The identification and possible elimination of hotspots in time can safeguard equipment in an industrial plant. It helps to avoid unscheduled outages and the consequence of monetary loss. Thus by prior detection of hotspots, the plant is safeguarded and the entire replacement of the system components will be avoided. The line follower monitoring device is reliable. The infrared camera is usually handheld in most part of the maintenance department in most power industries. This concept motivated the design of an automated line following robot to examine the equipment in the substation through thermo graphic camera over the line follower in order to take periodic inspection for the presence of hotspots and other related visual faults tending system components.

This project work covers only the Analysis of a line follower for hotspot detection from a substation end. It is designed to serve as an analysis to enable more research work in the area of automatic hotspot detecting system to ensure electrical power availability and stability. It is designed to serve majorly as a prototype to enable more research work in the area of automatic hotspot detecting system to ensure electrical power availability and stability. Therefore, this project is not providing a permanent system for automatic hotspot detection since it is a prototype.

An electrical or insulation failure is accompanied by two events, production of acoustic sound and increase in temperature owing to heating. Both of these lead to heat dissipation. The events that lead to such heat production are known as hotspot or partial discharge in equipment insulation. These hotspots may glow emitting radiation. When occurring due to poorly connected wires in low voltage, these hotspots may lead to fire accidents. 

The significance of this project is burn out of the fact that the hazard resulting from hotspot explosions in the substation is mitigated and it reduces the frequency of forced outages resulting from hotspot occurrence.  It enhances coordination of planned outages by the system planning department and reduces multiple outages. 

The aim of this project is to give the Analysis of a line follower for hotspot detection from substation end.
The specific objectives of the project are:

1 To investigate the existing methods

2 To develop a new model and analysis a line follower for hotspot detection

3 To use the infrared camera at the switch yard for hotspot detection.

4 To monitor the temperature variation of the terminal equipment.

5 To program the Arduino nano for monitoring the infrared camera signal.

The Analysis of this line follower for detection of hotspot from substation is of great significance for it serves to unveil the problems of hotspots in power lines thereby enabling quick solution of the problem which in turn ensures availability and stability of power in homes and industries. This project also serves to widen the horizon of students especially in the area of modern day technology and hence can serve as an area for further research and development in schools and industries. 

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