Trends & Technology

TATA Power-DDL Becomes the First Power Utility To Use Drones for Network Maintenance

Drone for Maintenance of Power network
2 Minutes Read
• Drones are weighing less than 2 kg and have a flying capacity below 200 ft., patrol 66&33 KV EHV Transmission Lines
• Equipped with Integrated Thermal Vision camera to render Infrared Radiations, LIDAR capability to measure distances with the use of laser lights, high-resolution camera for electrical asset inspection, monitoring & mapping and GPS enabled Autopilot System guided by a Ground Control Station

With an aim to provide better service to its customers through the use of latest technological interventions, Tata Power Delhi Distribution (Tata Power-DDL) has initiated the use of drones for maintenance of its power lines, poles and towers. The drone usage will provide faster, better and more accurate service resolutions.

The company is using micro drones, weighing less than 2 kgs,  with flying capacity below 200 ft. with permission from Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) Government of India & Local Police authorities.These drones are equipped with Integrated Thermal Vision camera to render Infrared Radiations, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to measure distances with the use of laser lights, high resolution camera for electrical asset inspection, monitoring & mapping and GPS enabled Autopilot System guided by a Ground Control Station.

The drones are being used to capture close-up, detailed imagery of the installations scanning potential defects for the help of maintenance personnel and to capture tower and pole images from various angles giving a fuller picture, which is often not possible with other inspection methods. The usage is also leading to improvements and assisting in making better decisions while minimizing the downtime during maintenance and contingencies. The drones are helping in monitoring of conductor sag, vegetation management, top view of pole and towers, solar panel inspection, infrared inspection for hot spots, monitoring of circuit, identification of any abnormalities (bird nests) or defects with equipment and are being used to manage right of way process to determine if anyone is encroaching on lines along with thermal inspection at grids.

Speaking on the Initiative Mr. Sanjay Banga, CEO, Tata Power-DDL said, ““Drones are being used around the globe in various applications. With the project we are exploring and developing its applicability in the power distribution sector. Usage of drones for maintenance will not only help us reduce the downtime, but will also give better insights for future projects. The drone usage will have wide application in the years to come and will help us serve our consumers better.”

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