Power engineers at Rosseti Centre, based on the Lipetsk branch, have tested a unique complex of automatic monitoring of the state of power lines using unmanned aerial vehicles and charging stations - the result of their own research and development work.
The complex consists of an unmanned aerial vehicle, a charging station and a control point, which are installed at the substation. From here, the aircraft automatically begins to examine 110 kV power lines.
The unmanned aerial vehicle takes off independently, flies over power lines, transfers the received information to a computer. The software package makes recommendations on the necessary repair of electrical equipment.
During the flight, the drone can recognize 22 defects. Among them are the destruction of insulators, wire breakage, the inclination of the pole, violation of the security zone, the irregular width of the route clearing, flooding of the pole and much more.
After the end of the flight and landing at the charging station, the aircraft transmits information to the control centre’s computer for automatic processing by the software package. Here, all identified defects are ranked into categories: a critical defect requiring repair during the shift, repair within a month, repairs that must be completed before the start of the autumn-winter period.
Information distributed in this way goes to the appropriate services.
“This development is just one step of Rosseti Centre to implement the Digital Transformation 2030 program. But it already demonstrates the effectiveness of the implementation of innovative developments. Practical use of the automatic monitoring system during the month will allow to carry out the annual amount of work on the inspection of power lines by Rosseti Centre’s crews,” stressed Igor Makovskiy, General Director of Rosseti Centre - the managing organization of Rosseti Centre and Volga Region.
The unmanned aerial vehicle is capable of flying 40 kilometres without additional recharging at a wind speed of up to 10 metres per second and a temperature of up to 10 degrees Celsius below zero. Allowable flight conditions are determined by the weather station included in the system. Work to increase flight distance under various meteorological conditions continues. Depending on the complexity of the task, video and photo cameras with conventional optics, as well as cameras for thermal imaging and ultraviolet shooting, can be fixed to the unmanned aerial vehicle.