At Enerven, we are always looking for opportunities to innovate and create solutions for our customers. Drone technology is improving every day, with safety and capabilities becoming the focus for many in the industry. Over the past two years, we have been using drones at Olympic Dam to undertake inspections on electrical infrastructure and we’re excited to expand our capabilities and fleet to offer a variety of solutions tailored exactly to our customers’ requirements.
“Our drone capabilities allow us to inspect or map areas with restricted or no access. We recently conducted an aerial inspection of a 33kV line for Tilt Renewables at the Snowtown Wind Farm. The 20km line was navigated using our latest drone, ‘Mattie’ (DJI Matrice 210) carrying a high-resolution zoom camera, allowing inspection of the line to be conducted from a safe distance without the need for system shutdowns. With an average 15-metre clearance from the structure, our team – including the drone pilot and a second operator who controls the camera and views the footage on a 40-inch screen set up in the vehicle – were able to capture some exceptional detail of the powerline." - Marcin Bal, Enerven’s Chief Aerial Pilot
Drone technology is certainly a very valuable tool for SA Power Networks Field Services; they often find they must inspect infrastructure in hard to reach or inaccessible areas. By using the drone, infrastructure can be accessed far more easily and inspected without risk to people or damaging the surrounding area. The technology has the additional benefit of being able to manoeuvre around active birds’ nests without intrusion, which is benefiting our Environmental Business.
“Active birds’ nests pose an ongoing hazard to powerlines and bushfire safety. The drone can be used to survey towers to identify bird species which have started to nest. Traditionally this has been a time-consuming exercise requiring a tower crew to climb and inspect nests, potentially scaring or unsettling the birds. Drone technology is far less intrusive on the wildlife and the resulting high-quality imagery helps to accurately identify any protected species.” - Julianna Balogh Enerven Environmental Business Partner
Enerven’s expanding capability and experience using drone technology is enabling inspections of mobile phone and radio towers, powerline and transmission lines, wind turbine blades, buildings, solar farm and roof solar systems as well as solar array thermal imaging, mapping and surveying and 3D modelling. Using our drone and designed infra-red technology, we use thermal imaging to detect heat related problems and seek potential maintenance defects on equipment or infrastructure. This can identify possible maintenance defects before they fail, allowing time to plan repairs and reduce maintenance costs. This is a non-destructive and safe method used for predictive maintenance, rather than reactive or fix after failure. Full detailed reports can also be developed quickly and provided to customers indicating the condition of the asset surveyed, one of many uses for this technology.