Grid Optimization: Heimdall Power’s Magic Balls Make A Mark

Grid Optimization: Heimdall Power’s Magic Balls Make A Mark

As our energy demands evolve and renewable sources become increasingly integrated into our power networks, the need for innovative solutions to optimize grid performance has never been more pressing. Especially with higher injections of variable renewable energy, grid optimisation has never been more important.

The new form of cutting-edge technologies, from advanced sensors and smart meters to tailored AI algorithms and energy storage systems, are needed to revolutionize the traditional grid infrastructure. This is where Norway based Heimdall Power’s Neurons (known colloquially as “magic balls”) is one such technology that claims to increase power capacity on existing power lines by up to 30-40% in a matter of weeks and months. In comparison, it normally takes 7-12 years to build a new transmission line.

Magic Balls

Produced by Heimdall Power, the Heimdall DLR or Dynamic line rating product has also been termed Neurons. These are eight-pound spheres which are placed on power lines to monitor the temperature of the line and provide data to controllers. Heimdall claims they are being used by over 35 utilities across 17 countries.

How Do They Work?

Each Neuron hosts multiple sensors, feeding back data about the power line in real time. They share data about factors that influence the amount of power that can flow on a line. This data includes temperature, angle, wind speed, etc.

Neuron, or Magic Ball Operating Range

The Magic Ball’s Operating Range

Knowledge of this information helps the operator to decide and safely manage the level of power flowing through the line. The tech utilizes cloud software to monitor the grid and to provide fast forecasts and analysis.
Installation isn’t that big a challenge either. The “magic balls” are installed by drones in under two minutes.


Today, the power transmission system faces challenges from uncontrollable factors such as severe weather and peak demand periods, often resulting in blackouts. Enhancements in transmission lines using a grid-enhancement technology, such as Neurons, offer a solution, ensuring more efficient power flow.
As power flow increases, lines heat up, impacting their capacity to deliver energy. Integrating sensors becomes crucial, as they enable real-time monitoring and adjustment based on current conditions. Without such technology, power companies will rely on seasonal limits rather than responding dynamically, leading to underutilized capacity.
With precise knowledge of a line’s power capacity, an operator can strategically increase power flow for extended periods, nearing its limit more effectively. Understanding the exact temperature allows the operator to gauge the proximity to the line’s maximum capacity accurately.
Energy generated from motion-based technology, such as hydroelectric or wind, is more difficult to store than the energy in static compounds like coal. When the power grid is at capacity, infrastructure like this will have to shut down because the energy cannot be stored. The magic balls allow new lanes to be opened for transmission, meaning the likelihood of an overloaded grid renewable source shutdowns will be lower. Reducing shutdowns by increasing the capacity of the power grid through technologies like these is essential.
Furthermore, the Heimdall Neurons can also be useful during outages and maintenance, allowing crews to pinpoint problems on the grid quicker than before. Further, if grid operators can facilitate the delivery of more wind and solar without building new lines, the result is likely going to reduce electricity costs for consumers.
Longevity and Durability: Awaited Innovation
The technology draws its power directly from the power line so it can be up on the line for potentially decades without any maintenance. Further, magic balls come with batteries. So, if the line ever falls out, it still sends data for six months.

Tried and Tested
As per reports, Neurons increased power-line capacity by about 30-40% in Europe. Recently, a utility, Great River Energy witnessed the success of its pilot in the US where the deployment of first four Heimdall Power Neurons resulted in a 42.8 per cent average increase in transmission capacity on a key line in the company’s transmission system. As a result of the successful pilot, the company planned to install 52 of Heimdall Power’s Neurons throughout its electrical grid in the US.
While the grid expansion is an unavoidable task, the grid enhancement methods or technologies like the magic balls represent a quick fix and are much cheaper.

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Junaid Shah

Junaid holds a Master of Engineering degree in Construction & Management. Being a civil engineering postgraduate and using his technical prowess, he has channeled his passion for writing in the environmental niche.