Working towards providing reliable power supply for its customers, the BSES discoms have started using drones to map distribution assets, detection of power theft, inspection of rooftop solar installations and for other similar purposes.
Drones fitted with high definition camera for visual inspection and an infrared camera for thermal imaging for identification of the hot-spots are being used, a BSES spokesperson said.
"We continuously look for state-of-the-art technologies and innovations that help us serve our over 43 lakh customers better. Successful adoption of drone technology is a huge step in preventive maintenance exercise, critical for ensuring reliable power supply," he said.
The technology is also used for accurate assessment of rooftop solar potential and dealing with vegetation encroachment around power infrastructure.
A programme has been drawn for using drones to monitor the health of the electricity network, including high voltage lines and grid sub-stations.
Using high resolution imagery and infrared thermal scanning, it will involve inspection of the overhead lines and equipment, grid-substations, connections, damaged switches, capacitors, detection of theft of equipment and intelligent line profiling, said the spokesperson.
The BSES has collaborated with Garuda UAV, a leading drone service provider for visual and thermal mapping of the electrical infrastructure, along with end-to-end solutions for maintenance and planning, he said.
In BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) areas, inspections were undertaken over a 45-day period at BYPL's Vivek Vihar grid and the EHV Circuit between the Vivek Vihar and Patparganj grid in East Delhi, he said.
"Through thermal scanning, drone assessment was able to determine health of the network and identify several hot-spots, which if unchecked could have caused problems in subsequent months. It was also able to determine the physical condition of the towers and identify deterioration," the spokesperson said.
A pilot project at the 66 kV Paschim Vihar Grid station, along with two-towers of 66kV Bodella 1 – Paschim Vihar Circuit 1 and 2 and 33 kV Mukherjee Park Circuit 3 near Chaukahndi, were undertaken in BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) was undertaken using drones, he said.
Timely detection of potential trouble spots and issues play a crucial role in ensuring reliable power supply. With initial success, the BSES is now gearing-up to scale-up the use of drones and make it an intrinsic part of its operations and maintenance activities, he added.