Mastering the energy transition means saying goodbye to energy generation from fossil fuels and switching entirely to electricity from renewable energy sources. What sounds so simple in theory poses several challenges in practice for transmission system operators, such as 50Hertz: the transmission system must be further expanded in the coming years. On the one hand, to prevent electricity from wind and solar energy from exceeding grid capacities. On the other hand, to guarantee the transport of electricity over long distances to the main points of consumption. At the same time, one must not neglect the increasing need to maintain and repair existing infrastructure. But how can the growing effort for grid inspections be met as efficiently and future-oriented as possible?
Digitized Mast and Line Inspection by Drone
One possibility for this is digitizing processes for mast and line inspections using drones. The use of drones enables defects to be detected early and is much more resource-saving than conventional methods. Drones can generate high-quality data material within a short time. In this way, the inspection capacity can be significantly increased. While climbers need around 30 minutes to inspect overhead lines and power poles, drones can generate the desired data within nine minutes. Finally, the image data obtained is suitable for automated evaluation, for example, using artificial intelligence, so that one can reliably detect even the slightest damage.
Calculated by FlyNex
Automated Aerial Survey of High-Voltage Pylons
FlyNex supports digitizing processes to use drones in regular operations for inspections. Using the FlyNex All-in-One platform, the complete workflow of the industrial use of drones can be mapped: from the planning to the aerial survey to the subsequent analysis. The integrated mission planner Drone Harmony helps to plan complex flight patterns, which are necessary, for example, for the complete recording of high-voltage pylons. Intricate flight patterns allow data to be collected consistently at high quality and repeated as required. The data generated can be used, among other things, to create orthophotos, identify damage using AI and digitally measure crop damage. The insights gained from this can easily be shared with the entire team.
Sustainable Grid Inspection by Drone at 50Hertz
The transmission system operator 50Hertz also attaches great importance to sustainability in maintaining and repairing its networks. For this reason, in cooperation with FlyNex, the company carries out network inspections by drone, among other things. The electrically operated aircraft offer an efficient and fast alternative to helicopters. For example, in the case of 50Hertz, they can be used to detect damage to overhead lines and masts at an early stage or to check corrosion protection work on masts.
“The use of drones opens up great opportunities for 50Hertz regarding sustainability, occupational safety, and efficiency. For example, drones can help us detect damage to overhead lines earlier or help maintain our pylons. As a result, helicopter missions are less necessary over our more than 10,000 km long network. That saves resources.”
Transmission System Operator
approx. 1400 employees in Berlin, Brandenburg, Hamburg, Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Saxony, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia
50Hertz operates the electricity transmission grid in Northern and Eastern Germany and expands it for the energy transition. The 50Hertz extra-high voltage network has a circuit length of more than 10,000 kilometers – which corresponds to the distance from Berlin to Rio de Janeiro. The transmission system operator is a leader in the secure integration of renewable energies: by 2032, 50Hertz wants to integrate 100 percent renewable energies into the grid and system over the year.
Do you have any questions about network inspection by drone, or would you like individual advice on your industrial application?
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We wish you safe flights.
Your FlyNex team