Drone technology has the potential to help the utility industry to monitor assets that need to be maintained in a safer, faster and more cost-effective way.
Conventional inspection techniques, which involved workers climbing rigs, pylons and cooling towers, are being replaced by drone technology.
Drones are not just a more innovative way to capture the required information, but they also provide a method by which the utilities are able to mitigate most of the risk, while also saving time and money.
Drones don’t just improve efficiency and safety during regular maintenance; but they also reduce the cost from the design, pre-construction and development stages through to commissioning and ongoing maintenance.
In addition to all of these advantages, drone technology also incorporates a data management system as they are able to generate and share thousands of images and videos. They can quickly provide engineers with real time data and post inspection analysis.
Here are the Key Benefits of Drones in the major Utilities Sectors:
The major value proposition for water utilities covers water production and supply, water quality, environmental impacts, resources and pollution management. The drones are highly suitable for numerous inspections of water storages, reservoirs and catchments, water and waste water treatment facilities and other infrastructures. Adding thermal cameras to drones is an easy way to find hidden leakages and bursts, saving time and reducing costs.
Electricity Utility Companies
Power lines present a unique maintenance challenge not just because of their height but also as they are geographically dispersed. It is possible to carry out an overview assessment of the structures without the need to lock them out.
The key benefits for electrical utility providers include the accurate and reliable inspection of power lines, towers and other structures, poles and substations, making inspections more effective, faster and much more safe.
Visit the following to watch a short video about the possible applications:
Constant monitoring and surveillance are essential to assess production, environmental compliance and safety in the Gas sector.
Drones can be used for activities ranging from monitoring and inspecting of onshore and offshore structures, accurately analysing confined spaces such as storage tanks. Other applications of drone technology include topside, under deck along with flare stack inspection. The drones are also able to operate in extreme weathers, temperatures or harsh conditions which are usually present in the gas industry.
Nuclear Energy Companies
Nuclear facilities must always be run with stringent operational standards to ensure safety, as Nuclear powers represent significant risks to the staff.
One of the major benefits of drone technology is that they can provide remote monitoring solutions leading to a much safer and quicker inspection method compared to the traditional methods. Drones can also supplement radiation monitoring at nuclear plants. Furthermore, UAVs can be used in disaster response and clean-up operations at nuclear facilities where it would not be safe to send a human.
The key value proposition for the Telecommunication Companies is the network infrastructure maintenance as they offer a safe, cost-effective and easily deployable alternative to traditional methods. The drones can be equipped with thermal sensors and transmitters to share the information, produces high resolution images with the cameras even showing the part numbers which may need replacing. Another benefit of the drones that they can operate in poor weather conditions such as rain and high winds.
The following Drone Aircrafts and Thermal Lenses / Cameras are suitable for the Utility Industry:
|Drone Models||Add a Compatible Drone Thermal Cameras*|
|DJI Matrice 210 Drone Combo Kit (UK)||FLIR Zenmuse XT/XT2/Z30/X4S/X5S/X7|
|DJI Inspire 2 Professional Drone (UK)||FLIR Zenmuse XT/X4S/X5S/X7|
|DJI Phantom Pro + Drone (UK)||-|
*Thermal cameras are not included with the Drones.
Here below you can find further information how the different industries can exploit the drone technologies: