Smart Electrode technology

Overview and description of the technology

The Electric Power Engineering Centre (EPECentre) at the University of Canterbury (UC) has developed, proven, and globally patented new Smart Electrode technology that can image, among other potential applications, the wood quality of logs in less than a second. It does this by measuring the intensity distribution of electricity flowing through a log.

Technology and Benefits

Smart Electrode technology provides near-instant calculations of sap- and heartwood volume and their distribution within the log.

This technology can be deployed throughout the value chain, from the skid-site, to the processing plant, to the export wharf to inform decisions that maximize the value from each log.


“The part of most interest to IPL is the opportunity to heat logs with in-line processing reducing the heating time from 12hrs+ to only minutes. This would be world-leading technology for both the Plywood and LVL industries. We need to see more innovation like this to move our NZ industries forward and improve the use of the NZ log resource.” 

Robert Dumelow - International Panel & Lumber (West Coast) Limited - May 2020  



Skid-site & Sawmills
Added value timber operations

Plywood & LVL Veneer
Added value timber operations

Export Logs

Benefits to NZ Economy


“The forest industry is interested in the technology as a long-term investment as it offers an alternative to chemical fumigants. Because it is heat-based, it will also kill insects and pathogens and there is also potential for the plywood and LVL manufacturers for both domestic and export purposes.”

Russell Dale, New Zealand Forest Owners Association R&D manager – Winter 2020 NZ Forestry Bulletin.


Check also our Publications page for papers and reports related to this technology.