The Electricity Company of Ghana has deployed 15 drones to monitor its networks. The drones will be used to conduct routine inspections to identify the encroachment of vegetation.
The technology will also be used to undertake thermal monitoring to locate any hot spots on the networks so that these can be promptly rectified.
In addition, they will be used to verify the completion of works and to undertake route mapping for the construction of new lines.
“Drones and artificial intelligence are rapidly becoming vital tools in the operations of transmission and distribution utilities because of their ability to provide access to difficult locations on powerlines for the purposes of carrying out inspections without creating outages,” says ECG MD Kwame Agyeman-Budu.
The specialist survey drones from the Swiss manufacturer Wingtra can travel up to 8km distant from the operator and remain in the air for up to one hour.
The use of the drones is expected to significantly reduce the risk of injury to personnel and to reduce both the time and costs of undertaking inspections.
ECG is optimistic that the inclusion of the drone system in their operations will improve efficiency, reliability of power supply to customers and modernising of operations and thereby position the company to become a leading utility service provider, it says in a statement.
Source: Smart Energy International.