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Power Line Stringing and How Drone Technology Is Improving the Process

Power Line Stringing and How Drone Technology Is Improving the Process

Commercial drones adapt to many business purposes; they can perform tasks that formerly posed great difficulty and severe risks to workers. Commercial drone training can enable your workforce to perform dangerous work with fewer risks. With efficient commercial drone courses, your workforce can add these valuable skills and use drones to increase productivity. Drones are an emerging source of business advantage in the electrical transmission industry.

– Puerto Rico Is an Example

The island of Puerto Rico was devastated by record-shattering hurricane force winds last season. Many island residents lost power, and the storms left the power grid infrastructure in shambles. After many months of backbreaking labor, tens of thousands of residents still lacked power. Repair crews began to innovate. They had to overcome chasms, mountainous forests and rain-washed gulleys that slowed or prevented wire stringing. By using drones, wire stringing came faster under challenging areas and became possible in the regions that had blocked progress completely.

– Increase Safety for Workers

Helicopters were an expensive method for wire stringing, but they were the sole available means under the old technology to attack some areas. Helicopter work can be dangerous. For example, in the Puerto Rico recovery, a helicopter crashed with resulting fatalities. The contractor turned to drones and commercial drone training. Workers have exposure to extreme conditions including swampy areas, tropical forests, extreme heat, extreme cold, and wind conditions. Where possible, contractors seek to reduce the time required for extreme exposures and drones can shorten the time required in the field to complete complicated stringing and grid infrastructure repairs. Further, in storm-damaged areas, workers often face limited access due to storm damage, floods, debris, and weakened structures.

– Operator Skills

Wire stringing with drones can be intricate, and operators require considerable skill and ingenuity to mount a lead-wire to towers and poles and then pull the transmission wires into place. Crews must then make the final hook-ups. Education begins with commercial drone courses and continues on the job and in the field. Employers must invest in operator skills and in maintaining them. Federal rules require operator licensing and certification. Licensed operators must refresh their knowledge with continuing education.

– Safety and Quality Inspections

Drones can perform important work when inspecting lines for damage and inspecting work for quality and completeness. Drones offer the unique ability to view heights and distance. A single operator and crew can cover many miles of wiring for compliance in far less time than truck crews with lifts.