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Challenge Enel Challenge: Ice Breaker – Anti/de-icing Solutions for Distribution Networks
Enel Challenge: Ice Breaker – Anti/de-icing Solutions for Distribution Networks
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 407
Posted: Oct 29 2015
Challenge ID: 9933806
Team Project Rooms are available on this Challenge. Team Share Challenge Share

Cold and rainy winters provide the perfect conditions for the formation and build-up of ice layers in power distribution networks. Once these layers achieve a considerable weight, a cascade of problems arise with interventions are required in order to repair or replace parts of the grid. 

Hence, the Seeker for this Challenge is looking for anti- and/or de-icing methods that can cost-effectively solve the problem of ice blocks in the distribution networks and consequent damages. 

This Challenge requires only a written proposal.


Extreme winters and particularly harsh climate events such as storms cause the formation of layers of ice build up on conductors, accessories and poles of the electrical power distribution network. The consequences of the ice blocks are various: lines and poles fall as the result of the ice weight, risk hazards increase, blackouts happen, and troublesome and costly on-field intervention by staff is required for reparation or substitution of the affected areas. Hence, it is imperative to find a solution to this problem. 

The Seeker for this Challenge, Enel, is therefore looking for anti- and/or de-icing methods that can cost-effectively solve the problem of ice blocks in the distribution networks and consequent damages. 

Submissions to this Challenge must be received by 11:59 PM (US Eastern Time) on January 19, 2016. Late submissions will not be considered

This is a Theoretical Challenge that requires only a written proposal to be submitted. The Challenge award will be contingent upon theoretical evaluation of the proposal by the Seeker. 

To receive an award, Solvers will not be required to transfer their exclusive IP rights to the Seeker. Instead, Solvers will grant to the Seeker a non-exclusive license to practice their solutions.

About the Seeker

Enel Distribuzione, part of the wider Enel Group, is responsible for the Energy distribution connecting TSO with final users. The market leader for energy distribution in Italy, Enel manages more than 1,100,000km of lines, connecting more than 32 million customers (residential and commercial), ensuring the compliance with the Quality of Service targets set by the Italian Authority  (AEEGSI) and fulfilling the customers’ needs. Enel Distribuzione operates in the regulated market being responsible for:

  • the electricity distribution from High Voltage to Low Voltage
  • the operation and management of the network ensuring its maintenance and development.           

In addition Enel Distribuzione is responsible for:

  • the connection to the distribution networks of passive and active customers
  • the transport of electricity withdrawn and injected by customers and producers connected to the network
  • metering activities: installing, operating and maintaining smart meters and collecting, certifying and making available the metering data
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An InnoCentive Theoretical Challenge builds upon an idea but is not yet a proof of concept. A solution to a Theoretical Challenge will solidify the Solver's concept with detailed descriptions, specifications and requirements necessary to bringing a good idea closer to becoming an actual product or service.

This Challenge is a Theoretical-Licensing Challenge, meaning that the Seeker is requesting non-exclusive rights to use the winning solution. By contrast, Theoretical-IP Transfer means that Solvers must relinquish all rights to the Intellectual Property (IP) for which they are awarded. For these forms of a Theoretical Challenge, Solvers that do not win retain the rights to their solution after the evaluation period is complete. The Seeker retains no rights to any IP not awarded.

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