It is using micro drones of less than 2 kgs in weight, along with flying capacity below 200 ft.
With an aim to provide better service to its customers through the use of latest technological interventions, Tata Power Delhi Distribution (Tata Power-DDL) has initiated the use of drones for maintenance of its power lines, poles and towers.
In a statement, the company said that the drone usage will provide faster, better and more accurate service resolutions. It is using micro drones of less than 2 kgs in weight along with flying capacity of below 200 ft.
In order to use the drones, it has taken permission from Ministry of Home Affairs and the local police.
These drones are equipped with integrated thermal vision camera to render infrared radiations, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) to measure distances with the use of laser lights, high resolution camera for electrical asset inspection, monitoring & mapping and GPS enabled Autopilot System guided by a Ground Control Station, the company said in the statement.
Besides, these drones are being used to capture close-up, detailed imagery of the installations scanning potential defects for the help of maintenance personnel and to capture tower and pole images from various angles giving a fuller picture, which is often not possible with other inspection methods.
The company expects that the use of drones will lead to improvements and assist in making better decisions while minimizing the downtime during maintenance and contingencies.
Also, these drones are helping in monitoring of conductor sag, vegetation management, top view of pole and towers, solar panel inspection, infrared inspection for hot spots, monitoring of circuit, identification of any abnormalities (bird nests) or defects with equipment and are being used to manage right of way process to determine if anyone is encroaching on lines along with thermal inspection at grids.
Commenting on the development, Tata Power-DDL, CEO, Sanjay Banga said “drones are being used around the globe in various applications. With this pilot project we are exploring and developing its applicability in the power distribution sector. Usage of drones for maintenance will not only help us reduce the downtime, but will also give better insights for future projects. The drone usage will have wide application in the years to come and will help us serve our consumers better.”