The use of multi-rotor UAVs to patrol overhead power lines has become a common method of powerline inspection. The drone can quickly and comprehensively detect and troubleshoot the defects of the power line and the hidden dangers of the channel, which provides an effective supplement for the traditional manual inspection and greatly improves the work efficiency of the frontline inspection personnel.
When using a drone for power line inspection, the inspection efficiency is closely related to the operator’s familiarity with the operation of the drone and the complexity of the environment. For skilled grid employees, the drone can be used to inspect dozens of towers a day, and even the advantage of the environment can be used to operate the drone to inspect the tower on an island a few kilometers away. However, the “new drivers” who just learned to fly may take several times to complete the inspection targets that compare with the skilled person.
Next, we take the daily power line inspection operation as an example to teach you how to improve the efficiency of drone inspection from 7 tips.
1：Choose the right drone
According to different tasks and environment , different drone can be used to do inspection tasks.When do powerline inspection work in mountainous areas or coastal areas with more gusts,we use of DMCs with high power redundancy such as the KP200 can effectively reduce the flight instability caused by wind resistance.
In areas with high voltage or strong electromagnetic interference, it is preferable to have a strong anti-interference drone such as the M210 RTK. At the same time, it can be equipped with a camera that supports high-magnification zoom, such as the Z30. Even if the distance is kept away from the power line, the subtle problems can be found .
When performing infrared or nighttime special inspection, use a dual-light infrared thermal imaging camera such as XT2 or a visible light device with a searchlight such as Mavic 2 industry version to better perform the work and achieve the precision effect of steel for the cutting edge.
2:Check the quantity and status of the battery
In the preparation and checking of the drone, it is necessary to fully consider whether the battery is enough to meets the inspection task. In terms of quantity, the number of batteries is sufficient to match the work. In terms of battery status, it is necessary to check whether the appearance of the battery is damaged or deformed; whether the metal piece of the battery interface is damaged or ablated; whether the battery is fully charged .
3:Pre-checking the on-site environment of the powerline inspection
Before working, you can conduct pre-checking on the following environmental elements of the route to be patrolled by means of satellite maps, route construction plans, topographic maps, etc.: topographic conditions, presence or absence of permitted landing , and whether the flight airspace has a wide field of view There are no obstructions, etc. In order to avoid the accidental flight during the official inspection and fly out of the remote control range, resulting in loss of accidents, crashes and other accidents. A good understanding of the site environment can also provide a basis for further route segment planning.
4:Develop a inspection flight plan
Efficient route planning is the basis for improving the efficiency of flight operations. In the route planning, it is necessary to take into consideration the sequential arrangement, the selection of the shooting method for the key parts (insulators, pins or nuts, etc.) on the powerline tower, and the control of the exposure compensation.
5:Set the appropriate power line inspection height
Due to gravity, the transmission conductors generally sag and are lower than the height of the tower itself. When a flight tour is performed on a specific line, it is necessary to perform a follow-up recording with a constant distance to the power line. At this time, the flying height of the drone should be as high as possible with the height of the wire, and the distance difference and 1~2 meters are superior to prevent the line collision and crash due to operational errors.
6:Set the appropriate channel power line inspection height
In the daily inspection, the working height needs to be set above the ground line, and after the drone reaches the specified flying height, the operation is started to prevent the drone from colliding. Affected by the terrain of the mountain, the drones often have difficulty reaching the ground to inspect the tower base and other parts. The low flying height will also increase the difficulty of flight and have a significant impact on the efficiency of the line inspection.
7:Set the appropriate inspection radius
Affected by the characteristics of endurance and short-wave RF signals, when the UAV is conducting power line inspection, the operating radius should not exceed 2.5 km. If the battery power drops to the range of 35%-40%, you should consider returning to full speed immediately, so as not to trigger a low battery forced landing, resulting in the loss of the drone.