Drones began to monitor the state of electrical networks and learned to foresee accidents

September 26, 2023
Дрони почали стежити за станом електричних мереж та навчилися передбачати аварії
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The results of the pilot project on the use of DroneUA drones to inspect power lines have been summed up. The new technology is almost 2 times more effective than traditional walking inspections by repair crews and visual inspection of lines to identify damage. The full-scale use of drones in the daily work of distribution system operators (DSOs) can reduce power outages to customers by 10-15% annually, as well as fundamentally change the way networks are maintained.

The pilot project was carried out at DTEK Network for three months. Drones inspected power lines with drones in the Novomoskovsky and Solonyansky districts of the Dnepropetrovsk region. The unmanned aerial vehicles were equipped with photo and video cameras and thermal imagers. The information received was processed by defect recognition programs using artificial neural networks. The approach showed an efficiency almost 2 times higher than with conventional foot inspections.

In particular, on a 500-kilometer network, during a drone inspection, experts found 916 insulator defects, while during a normal inspection there were 176. The new approach better detects overheating of equipment and makes it possible to inspect 2-3 times the length of power lines in one working day.< /p>

«DTEK — leader of the digital transformation of Ukrainian energy. Using drones and building artificial neural networks — allows us to predict the possible location of an accident and carry out preventive repairs, strengthening networks. This will allow you to work proactively, rather than eliminate the consequences of an accident. As a result — qualitatively the best services for our clients», — commented Ivan Gelyukh, CEO of DTEK Grids.

According to the company’s calculations, with the help of the latest technologies, distribution system operators will reduce the accident rate and duration of power outages (SAIDI indicator) by 10-15% by 2025.

«Drones can be fully integrated into OSR information systems. The received data is automatically analyzed by special programs. The IT system itself generates reports and gives recommendations to specialists about the priority of repairs. This significantly saves time and minimizes the human factor, and, consequently, increases the reliability of networks», — explained the principles of operation of the IT system Maris Kunickis, head of innovative projects at DTEK Networks.

Full-scale implementation of innovative technology will not lead to layoffs of employees. Obviously, the need for a large number of specialists who are directly involved in inspections will decrease. But the demand for specialists who will work with drones and databases, manage and maintain the new digital system will increase.

«In Ukraine, drones are used everywhere, in various industrial areas, from agriculture to the mining industry. The energy market is one of the most actively developing areas for the use of industrial drones, and covers both work with the areas of electricity generation and its distribution. There are over 900 thousand kilometers of energy networks in Ukraine, both overhead and cable, which require regular inspection. Drones can significantly reduce risks for personnel, improve quality and speed up work in aerial network inspection scenarios. We are glad that DTEK, as one of the main players in the energy market of Ukraine, is starting to systematically use drjnov technologies on part of its electricity distribution assets» — notes Valery Yakovenko, co-founder of DroneUA

The first tests and pilot projects for the use of drones in the Ukrainian energy sector were launched back in 2016. In 2018, DTEK for the first time announced plans to introduce technology for inspection of electrical networks, as a result of test inspections of the 110 kV Levoberezhnaya substation together with DroneUA specialists.

Starting in 2019, DroneUA robotics and equipment are used to inspect the equipment of various generating enterprises, assess the volume of coal storage piles, and also to monitor the condition of the networks of DTEK, the largest private vertically integrated energy company in Ukraine.

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DroneUA is an international system integrator of unmanned solutions and robotics.

On the market of Ukraine and Eastern Europe, the DroneUA group of companies is the largest importer and distributor of leading drone manufacturers in the world and represents technological solutions from the brands XAG, EcoFlow, Pix4D, Parrot, Chasing, DroneDeploy, AgroCares and others.

The group of companies has its own engineering, production and service divisions, as well as an open data processing center. Technological solutions presented by DroneUA are used on more than 4 million hectares of cultivated areas of Ukraine. According to the results of the 2021 and 2022 agricultural seasons, more than 2.2 million hectares were protected with drone sprayers from DroneUA.

DroneUA is among the top three most innovative businesses in the agricultural sector of Ukraine according to FORBES and among the twenty most innovative enterprises of Ukraine.

The group of companies continues to expand the list of technological brands that it presents on the Ukrainian market, and is active in agriculture, the oil and gas industry, as well as in the fields of energy, geodesy and topography.

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