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Today: Jun 12, 2024
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Drone tech fixes power cuts across the South East.

1 min read

TLDR:
– Drone technology is being trialled by UK Power Networks to help speed up the time it takes to fix power cuts in rural areas across the South East.
– Engineers are testing whether high-quality video images from drones can pinpoint damage, allowing them to find the cause of power cuts more quickly and make repairs safer.
– The technology is being tested in parts of Kent, Sussex, and Essex.
– UK Power Networks estimate that flying drones will cut restoration times by an average of 30 minutes.

Drone technology is being used to help fix power cuts in rural areas across the South East of England. Engineers at UK Power Networks are testing whether high-quality video images from drones can be used to pinpoint damage and find the cause of power cuts more quickly. The use of drones reduces the need for engineers to physically walk underneath overhead cables and instead allows them to examine the footage on a laptop on-site. UK Power Networks estimate that drones can cut the duration of power cuts by an average of 30 minutes.

Traditionally, engineers would have to walk the entire length of the overhead cables to try and locate the fault. This process could take anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour per kilometer of line, whereas drones can quickly fly overhead and capture images of the damage. The use of drones not only speeds up the process but also reduces the risk of injury for engineers who would otherwise have to climb a wooden pole to inspect equipment. However, UK Power Networks note that foot patrols and helicopters will still be required in certain situations, such as windy weather or darkness.

The operator of UK Power Networks, which supplies electricity to over 8.5 million homes and businesses across London and the South East, has been testing the use of drones in parts of Kent, Sussex, and Essex. They believe that the use of drones will significantly reduce the time it takes to find and repair faults, ultimately resulting in shorter power cuts for customers. By using drone technology, UK Power Networks aim to improve the reliability and efficiency of its electricity network in rural areas.