The energy industry benefits greatly from UAV technology. Inspecting assets such as overhead lines that span thousands of kilometers has never been easier. In comparison to traditional methods that involved line walkers and helicopters, UAV technology is both safer and more cost effective than any previous method. Additionally, assets like power stations, solar plants, and wind turbines are now inspected at a faster, safer, and cheaper way, and with higher quality. This allows end-users to make maintenance decisions that are data-driven rather than time-driven, ensuring their operations remain cost-effective.
High-resolution cameras mounted on drones are a great way to perform complicated and time-sensitive chimney stack inspections in power plants. Drones are capable of quickly capturing essential information about general asset conditions and creating georeferenced reports that can be used in scheduled maintenance and asset condition assessments. Additionally, the external inspection of chimney stacks is completed without shutdown or reduction in energy output.
Overhead Line Inspections
Some of the most important assets in power generation and transmission are overhead lines. Many power companies used to make maintenance decisions based on the assumption that the oldest assets were in the worst condition and therefore required to be repaired first. With the advent of advanced drone technology and its ability to quickly capture the data required in a detailed overhead line (OHL) inspection, power companies are beginning to reap the benefits of evaluating assets and their actual need for maintenance. Immediate attention or preventive maintenance can now be supplied more accurately, facilitating the making of well-informed decisions and ensuring service continuity, cost reductions, and uninterrupted power transmission and generation.
Inspecting and maintaining vast numbers of communications towers is a labor intensive and time-consuming task,due to the high number of assets and complexity of inspection. Drone-enabled inspections providea faster and more effective solution incoping with the ever-growing number of assets.
Zain Drone provides a combination of UAVs and specialized software to enable communications companies to inspect and digitalize assets and provides insights concerning the overall condition of assets much faster than other methods.
Inspections of high vertical assets such as wind turbines often entails a high level of risk due to the complexity of the task at hand. The ability of UAVs to quickly take off and reach any point on the asset has greatly improved the way that data is captured, and is especially important as some of these assets are located in challenging environments such as high mountains or offshore areas.
Solar plants cover vast areas and are extremely difficult to inspect using traditional handheld cameras or crawling robots. Drones equipped with thermal radiometric cameras can cover large areas in a much shorter time. Zain Drone can also capture radiometric data that is combined and stitched together into thermal georeferenced maps showing all possible problems with panel installations. Issues such as individual cell hot spots, combiner defects, reversed polarity and string failures are easily detected and geolocated for fast and effective mitigation actions.