In mountainous areas of countries like Puerto Rico, restoring power after a natural disaster such as a hurricane where power lines are torn down, can prove exceptionally challenging. Residents in these natural disaster zones are often left without power for months on end, and local officials are left scratching their heads and wondering how to better resolve the problem.
With dense woodland also hampering efforts to restore the power lines in many such regions, energy companies have had to work hard to find a solution.
How energy companies are using drones to patch up power lines:
Viewing the problem from an aerial perspective has proved fruitful for some power companies, who are beginning to use UAV’s, or unmanned aerial vehicles, to cross treacherous gorges, stringing power lines across them to try and return power to the hardest hit areas.
The drones are rigged with a lightweight nylon cord and a 3-D printed magnet, and once the UAV has reached its desired location, it is instructed to release the cord, enabling workers on the ground below to attach a more durable cord in place. Then, the conductor wire that is needed to enable the transmission of electricity, is pulled into place and power can begin flowing freely along its route.
Other countries have since begun using drones in similar ways, such as in a village in Wales where they were used to set up a broadband internet connection in a densely forested region.
What are the benefits of using drones to help with power problems?
One clear and important benefit of using UAV’s to help with such issues as restoring power lines, involves health and safety. Power companies have previously used helicopters in some scenarios, but that can be dangerous and risky for pilots, with one reportedly being killed on the job last year.
The cost of using a drone in comparison to a helicopter makes for one significant
Drones are proving relevant and useful for so many companies around the world, and for a variety of purposes, with the restoration of power lines being one clear way in which the latest technology can be used to save lives and get people powered up and connected again.