Transforming power line inspections with Airpelago: Discover how proof of concept projects empower power utilities to discover and embrace innovation
For many power utility companies, helicopters have long been the preferred option for power line inspections. While new technologies offer promising and environmentally friendly alternatives, these companies understandably approach change with caution. However, conducting a proof of concept project presents an opportunity for power companies to explore innovative approaches to power line inspections.
Swedish energy generation and distribution company Luleå Energi recognized the value of this approach and collaborated with Airpelago on a 50-km proof of concept project in July 2023. This initiative aimed to gain a deeper understanding of the potential benefits of drone inspections. In addition to evaluating the effectiveness of drone technology, conducting a proof of concept project allows for the integration of new workflows, optimizing the overall inspection process.
As part of its proof of concept project, Luleå Energi followed Airpelago's recommendation to perform LiDAR scanning of its grid. This step provided valuable data for vegetation management and precise pole and tower coordinates. Subsequently, Airpelago's lightweight drones were deployed for autonomous flights to conduct the annual service inspection, demonstrating the feasibility of comprehensive grid inspections using this advanced approach. With these successful outcomes, Airpelago’s goal is to extend inspections to Luleå Energi's entire grid in the years to come.
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