Utilities inspection is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. Until recently, this type of inspection was done in one of two ways, either by putting a helicopter and lineworker incredibly close to charged high voltage lines, putting both the pilot and inspector in a highly dangerous situation or shutting down a circuit and having those inspectors climb towers or poles, costing thousands and taking extensive amounts of time to complete.
It's no secret that with an ever-increasing reliance on the power grid, inspections and maintenance are more important than ever. Our transmission and distribution systems stretch an impossible long way. Traditional forms of inspection simply cannot keep pace.
Our metropolitan areas consume record amounts of power as more people move to the big cities. The result of the influx of people to growing urban areas is increases in brownouts and blackouts. Between the aging grid that transports the power and an increase in consumer demand, keeping our existing infrastructure well maintained while planning for, and building new power corridors is paramount. All maintenance begins with inspection. The problem is, inspections today look, for the most prat, the same as they did 50 years ago. Whether it is a helicopter having to suspend a lineworker over live lines while they test for resistance or driving to each and every pole to climb and inspect the insulators and cross-arms. Inspecting the grid can take years. Not only is it labor intensive and time consuming, but it is also dangerous at best and deadly at worst.
LS Drone is building solutions for the energy sector that keep people safe and do the job better than previously thought possible. What used to take weeks, months, or years can be done in a fraction of the time. Power grids can now be inspected completely via advanced automation. Data can be used to track trends, build models, or predict when services will need to be performed. Because LS Drone leverages the most advanced AI models, vegetation management can be done with far more intelligence. Imagine knowing if a sector of the grid needs priority based on type and classification of the surrounding vegetation and rainfall. All this is possible with cutting edge technology and practices.
Inspecting splices and deadends has traditionally required a huge amount of risk to lineworkers. Often employing the use of a helicopter with a lineworker haning out of the side, put in very close proximity to energized lines. This both dangerous to the pilot and lineworker, but puts that section of the grid at risk. A hotstick would have to be touched to the lines to test things like resistance, amperage, or diameter of the lines. This hotstick, in an ideal world is aconductive. However, with the extreme voltage passing through the lines, this is not often the case and can still pose a risk to the workers. Wind and other environmental conditions also threaten this traditional form of inspection. An alternative is having the same tests done via a bucket truck if the lines are low enough. Now, the risk of disrupting the local wildlife inside the right of way has to be considered.
Because of the logistical hurtles and the heavy financial cost of helicopter or bucket truck, the inspection cycle often cannot keep up with the aging infrastructure. Now, what was a cyclic issue becomes a safety hazard. The resistance that the splices can cause extreme heat. This heat can melt lines, cause fires, or damage property below.
LS Drone has a solution. Instead of putting workers in harms way, eliminate the traditional form of inspection by doing the same job with Zero Hazardous Manhours. Using drones to do contact testing on line lines keeps lineworkers focused on repairs and speeds up the inspection cycle by getting the job done faster. Now, being able to keep up with the inspection cycle is within the realm of possibilities, turning the inspection process from reactive, to proactive.
For more information on how LS Drone is changing the way inspections of overhead lines are done, call or email us today. Demos are free, human life is not. Let's take as much risk to workers out of the equation as we can.
Practices that used to put people in extreme harms way can now be completely eliminated with the use of contact testing via drones. LS Drone is pioneering the field of resistance testing on lines that used to take a helicopter and a lineworker putting themselves within feet of charges high voltage lines. Now, a drone can test splices without anyone being near the lines. Insulators and poles can be inspected and referenced for years to come.
In short, LS Drone offers the complete package of inspection needs. Not only can the inspection be done safer, but it can be done better than ever before. Don’t believe us? Let the advanced pilots and inspectors at LS Drone demonstrate our solutions for the energy sector with a free demonstration. Call us at 817-642-7499.