Easy to use systems to promptly diagnose the health condition of Utility Poles and Supports

Collaboration with Enel

Challenge overview


The Enel Group is looking for proposals around the best available solutions to improve health checks of poles and supports. In partnership with Enel Grids, your reliablequantitative and objective measurement approach will benefit operator safety and network management. Do you have a solution, technology, or method for an objective and fast health check?

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver is invited to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by Enel Grids with the goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.

- Login or register to start solving this Challenge! After logging in, click ‘View Challenge Details’ to submit your solution on the Enel Open Innovability® platform -



As part of ongoing health and safety initiatives across the Group, Enel Grids is searching for a solution that can provide an objective and fast health check of a pole/support, to be added to the current visual inspection.

Current practices are often subjective, depending on tester's experience and sensibility. Providing operators on the ground with a fast, easy-to-use, and universal understanding of relevant and objective information will support the assessment of the pole/support condition and therefore if this is suitable for operator climbing and, more generally, for network service.

Enel Grids is therefore looking for proposals around the best available solutions to improve health checks of poles and supports. In partnership with Enel Grids, your reliable, quantitative and objective measurement approach will benefit operator safety and network management.


When working at height in any industry, safety regulations and requirements must be followed. We need to ensure any equipment used or support climbed must be verified to be safe before climbing. According to Enel Grids standards on work at height, when operators are working on a pole or support, it is critical to determine its condition before an operator climbs it.

Poles that are unsuitable for climbing operations are also unsuitable for network service. The network maintenance plan, in particular the periodic inspections, provides for the reporting of unsuitable poles/supports on which their replacement or stabilization must be planned. Adding to the routine visual checks and testing, Enel Grids is seeking innovative solutions to perform reliable, objective and quantitative health checks of these poles and supports.

Before starting any activity at height, pole and support integrity (presence of damage, buckling, corrosion etc), mechanical requirement and stability have to be verified on site - in order to assess that it may sustain the stresses from the work. These stresses, including operator weight, equipment and tool weight for use or installation, and other working stresses (e.g. removal or tensioning of conductors), may lead to the failure of a defective pole/support or one not designed to handle these stresses.

For instance:

  • Wood poles usually fail by breaking at the point of their penetration in the ground - often due to internal rotting that weakens the material. For these wood poles, the focus would be more on the pole integrity than the methods of stabilization, e.g. ground consistency, considering these poles usually have not a foundation block.
  • However, for reinforced concrete or metallic poles, they tend to fail due to an ineffective stabilizing effect. This happens when the pole is at the incorrect penetration depth, or when this depth reduces over time.


Enel Grids is searching for proposals that offer a solution that can provide an objective and fast health check of a pole/support, to be added to the current visual inspection.

Current practices are qualitative and subjective, depending on tester experience and sensibility. Your reliable, quantitative and objective measurement will help keep operators safe and improve network management.

This test and health check must be non-invasive, and could be based on diagnostic technologies of any kind. The scope of innovation in your solution and its universal potential is important - your solution could use physical, mechanical, thermographic, ultrasonic, magnetoscopic, hygrometric diagnostics, a combined approach, or any other relevant and successful.

The inspection approach and its conditions change dependent on the type of pole/support, their material, and then on their specific dynamics of failure. This also will have to take into account other factors: presence/absence of a foundation block, depth of penetration into the ground, the type of soil itself.

Ideally, your proposed solution will also allow for the recording and reporting of data, and including a connection to a database. This will help prepare for future health checks and provide more opportunity for future analysis and program work.


In general, the solution needs to satisfy the following must-have requirements:

  • Effectiveness of checking the health of pole/support whenever this is required;
  • Not impair the pole/support integrity, stability, or create other/further risk situations;
  • Be easy and fast to be deployed or installed on the pole/support, and also non-invasive;
  • Be universal as far as possible, i.e. flexible to use on poles/supports of different materials, sizes, kind; solutions for only one type of material will also be considered;
  • Easily transportable by users and company fleet;
  • Be user-friendly in order for users to take a quick decision;
  • Require minimum maintenance;
  • Be easy to implement, both in time and distribution;
  • Be compliant with current normative of the countries of the Enel group or be possible to adapt to local normative with a limited effort.

Nice-to-have requirements

  • Be able to record the check results for reporting purposes, and also allow remote recording in a database.


This Challenge contributes to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

  • SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth 
  • SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 

- Login or register to start solving this Challenge! After logging in, click ‘View Challenge Details’ to submit your solution on the Enel Open Innovability® platform -


For questions about the Challenge and your proposal you can contact EnelOpenInnovabilityChallenges@wazoku.com

Explain your proposal clearly in English, attach documents (max 5 files, 25MB total size) if needed.

This is an electronic Request-for-Partners (eRFP) Challenge; the Solver will need to submit a written proposal to be evaluated by the Seeker with a goal of establishing a collaborative partnership.

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (Central European Time) on June 03, 2023.


ABOUT THE SEEKER             

Enel is a multinational energy company and one of the world’s leading integrated electricity and gas operators. Enel works in more than 30 countries across five continents, generating energy with a total installed capacity of more than 89 GW, selling gas and distributing electricity across a network spanning approximately 2.2 million km.

With almost 75 million end users around the world, Enel has the biggest customer base among our European competitors, and we are one of Europe’s leading energy companies by installed capacity.

The Enel Group is made up of approximately 66,000 people from around the world who are working together on the same goal. We are Open Power and our aim is to overcome some of the greatest challenges facing the world. This is to be achieved through a new approach which combines attention to sustainability with the best in innovation.

Enel is dedicated to creating innovative solutions that meet society’s changing needs. Through its openinnovability.com crowdsourcing platform, the company connects people and ideas from across the world, encouraging anyone to propose sustainable innovation projects and solutions that help develop local communities.

Enel is also committed to helping to achieve 4 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • 7 - Access to affordable and clean energy
  • 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
  • 11- Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • 13 - The fight against climate change

Enel Grids is the global business line in charge of steering and coordinating the electricity transmission and distribution activities of Enel Group in 8 Countries (Europe and South America). For 20 years it's been committed to creating a knowledge ecosystem for developing network digitalization and now is the benchmark in terms of smart metering, thanks to the nearly 45 million smart meters installed on our electricity grids throughout the world, designing new automation systems for distribution networks in order to meet the growing demand for energy. By 2024 the aim to reach 81 million grid customers, 63% of whom will be digitalized, thanks to the world’s most advanced smart meter technology developed by Gridspertise, to reach the goal of more than 48 million installations on our networks around the world. At the same time, we're working on the implementation of an innovative, integrated platform operating model in order to comprehensively manage our networks, leveraging the opportunities offered by digitalization and emerging technologies.

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