THE Chinese electric power company, China Southern Power Grid (CSG), developed an indite method of electric network inspection using drones from the manufacturer DJI. The company founded its own technological innovation center last year, precisely to promote the research and development of new technologies such as this.
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China Southern Power Grid is responsible for 45,000km of transmission lines positioned across 5 provinces in the south of the country. It is a total area of over one million square kilometers, home to a population of over 254 million people, distributed in 87 million households.
"2018 was a milestone for CSG. First, route planning became more accurate with the new laser features of its drones, making it a standard to build 3D models on destination routes. This allowed multi-drone drones rotors, like the DJI Matrice 200, carried out fully automatic inspections along the route, capable of inspecting 36 towers with 3 minimum human interference landing points. "DJI Official Announcement
In recent years, the company was using traditional methods to inspect these networks. This even included the use of manned helicopters in an effort that required a large amount of resources to be invested and yet was sufficient for only 11,000 power grids (less than a quarter of the total).
"Artificial intelligence was also integrated into operations. With intelligent visual recognition algorithms, drones were able to report real-time views with component identification. Inspectors could see sharp images with signal marks from components such as glass insulators and connections. miles from the controller screen ".DJI Official Announcement
In an effort to address this, CSG has been conducting drone testing since 2012. At first, unmanned aircraft were used in nine different cities, in tests that demonstrated lower costs and high quality results. By 2015, China Southern Power Grid already used 387 drone units and had 36 certified pilots. Gadgets can do inspections three times faster compared to traditional methods.
"CSG's fleet of drones had fixed wings and multi-rotor drones. Researchers quickly realized the pros and cons of both. The fixed wings had a longer flight time, which showed a greater ability to cover longer distances with a single flight, while the multi-rotors were able to capture detailed area images with more flexible and controllable flight modes. With that came the perfect mix and match. "DJI Official Announcement
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