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

  • Award:

    Collaboration with Enel

  • Deadline:

    3rd Jun 2023

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 Green Power is the Enel Group brand focused on developing and managing renewable energy generation systems, with a global presence in 26 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania (active projects in 21 Countries while projects in development in 5 countries). Enel Green Power is a global leader in the green energy sector, operating more than 1,200 plants with a managed capacity of 564 GW across a generation mix which includes wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower, and is at the forefront of integrating innovative technologies into renewable power plants. Enel Green Power is a strategic partner that enables communities, companies and end users to move towards sustainable living, driving the shift towards a decarbonized society and actively contributing to the development and wellbeing of the many geographical areas where it operates.

Enel Green Power applies the CSV (Creating Shared Value) Model, finding new business opportunities by solving social problems, combining competitiveness with the long-term sustainable value creation. Thanks to its research, technological innovation, internationally renowned operational excellence, and the hard work of its people, Enel Green Power looks to the future fully aware of its potential for growth, both in terms of additional capacity and operational performance.

Enel Green Power invests in new technologies to improve its flexibility and performance, such as the combination of technologies and sources in the same plant (hybridization), the integration between renewables with other sectors (agrivoltaics, green building, new materials etc.) and research to give plants’ components a new role once they reach the end-of-life stage. All these projects are conducted under the lens of Sustainability and Circular Economy.

With its international experience, Enel Green Power also develops custom projects to offer companies the best solutions when it comes to energy generated from renewable sources. Clean energy and sustainable projects, competitive costs and tailor-made solutions are the main benefits of the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), tools that are capable of building strong, long-lasting partnerships with business and industrial clients. Enel Green Power is also one of the founding members of RES4Africa Foundation, the association founded in 2012 to promote renewable energies and the spread of know-how on the African continent.