Automated Surface Inspection

Western Power charges forward with automated inspection

Friday 6th March, 2020

Western Power charges forward with automated inspection

Western Power connects over 2 million customers covering an area in Western Australia bigger than the United Kingdom. The South West Interconnected Network (SWIN) is one of the largest grids on the planet and spans approximately 255,000 square kilometres.

One of the largest challenges facing Western Power is maintaining a grid that spans from Kalbarri in the north to Bremer Bay. Western Power is trialing a Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPA) to help identify faults over a large area.

The RPA or drone is specifically designed to be used in and around power lines and includes technology to reduce electromagnetic interference.

The drone is equipped with two cameras, one is a high powered zoom lens, the second is a thermal heat-sensing camera which detects faults that a human inspector would miss.

Benefits of automated inspection

The benefits to Western Power include:

  • Enables crews to access difficult to reach locations
  • The drones allow crews to work safely away from live lines
  • Photos and data captured for future use
  • The drones are cheaper to run and have less of an impact on the environment than helicopters
  • Drones can cover wide areas at speed, improving efficiency across the business

The trial is being conducted in the state’s Mid-West region around Northam and Geraldton, where severe weather events can affect power supply to critical feeder lines, impacting regional customers.

The trial was nearing its conclusion and work was underway on compiling the resulting feasibility report.

Improve efficiency with automated inspection systems

If you’re interested in new inspection technologies that could help your business become more efficient and profitable, then please get in touch with one of our specialists. If you would like to find out more about automated inspection then please call Shelton Vision on +44 (0) 116 279 0920 or complete our contact form.

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Photo credit: Wongm