New Delhi: Maharatna power PSU Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (Power Grid) has initiated the use of drones for EHV (Extra High Voltage) transmission line patrolling to identify defects using high-resolution cameras.
According to an official statement of the company, drones are being deployed for activities such as tower inspection, clearance measurement & vegetation management. The drones enable effective patrolling of transmission line sections falling under difficult and unapproachable areas (i.e. valley, hilly, river crossing, flooded areas) as well as areas having right-of-way (RoW) issues etc.
They are also being deployed for disaster management to carry out tasks such as damage assessment/aerial surveys, and emergency line patrolling. Power Grid has also developed an Artificial Intelligence-based tool which has automated the defect identification process from photographs captured during drone patrolling.
Power Grid presently owns & operates a fleet of micro-category drones also for routine transmission line patrolling. During the month of February 2023, Power Grid patrolled about 200 towers using its own in-house drones.
The total transmission assets of Power Grid and its subsidiaries as on February 28, include 1,73,815 circuit km of transmission lines, more than 2,90,000 EHV towers of various configurations, 271 substations and a transformation capacity of 4,93,862 MVA. With the use of state-of-the-art maintenance techniques, automation and digitisation, Power Grid has maintained transmission system availability by more than 99 percent.
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