Utility services are so essential that some households seem to plunge into the stone ages with the shortage of a single common utility. It takes a lot of manpower to ensure provision of common utilities to every household and utility companies go to great pains to ensure they run smoothly at all times. With the supply lines stretching hundreds of thousands of miles, a fault in a single area can lead to huge issues. This is why utility companies employ a number of inspection teams which keep a lookout for faults.
Drones have offered a great breakthrough in the field of utilities because they have the capability of moving much faster than humans ever will. The fact that they can record footage essential since operators and inspectors can simply stay in a room and do the inspection right from their offices. With thermal imagery and other techniques growing, inspection of utility lines is becoming easier with some drones even being capable of identifying potential problems on their own using advanced cameras and algorithms.
There are a number of aspects in which the use of drones is helping the utilities industry. Their widespread use in utilities inspection like aerial inspection of overhead electricity lines and sensory inspection of water, gas lines and telephone lines has made life very easy for utility companies. The major reasons for their widespread use include health and safety, cost, time, accountability and accurate reporting.
Health and Safety
The main problem of working in the field of utility is that the personnel need to work at heights mostly and this is particularly dangerously regardless of the safety precautions taken. Moreover, working in the field of utilities can expose humans to live high voltage circuits which can totally fry a human body within microseconds. All such dangers are overcome by using drones in place of inspectors who would have to physically go close to these utility lines.
Time and Money
When you deploy the humans to carry out the job of inspecting the lines for fault, there is a lot of time taken with safety precautions and physical limits being two major reasons. But with the drones those concerns are futile and they can normally reduce the time of inspection greatly. And when time is saved, the cost of the operation is minimized in itself. The fact that there is no need to take safety precautions for a drone helps too and can save costs here as well.
Accountability and Accurate Reporting
Since drones or unmanned aerial vehicles are machines, there is no chance of giving a biased report of the fault present in the line. With drones, there is actual evidence of the inspection and of the findings. There is no questioning live footage and pictures and this helps utility companies in having better and more factual records of their inspection quests.
To frame it in simple words, drones are slowly becoming the present and the future of the utility business and it’s only a matter of time before drone inspections would become common for every utility line in the world.
Source: Ezine Articles – Victor Holman