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HomeLatest NewsEndesa and its 150 'rangers' equipped with helicopters, drones and chainsaws

Endesa and its 150 ‘rangers’ equipped with helicopters, drones and chainsaws

Date: July 13, 2024 Time: 19:04:46

Technological and human deployment of Endesa in Catalonia to prevent fires. The electricity company returns one more year with its annual forest protection campaign, this time marked by the serious drought that is plaguing the community, with an investment of 20 million euros that includes the use of helicopters and drones and logging and pruning tasks. . .

Endesa has almost 100,000 kilometers (99,734 to be specific) of power lines in Catalonia and half of them are overhead, so they are in some way subject to forested or vegetated areas. The special orography of the forests, as a living element, which constantly grows and changes, is what motivates the company to make this unique investment to protect Catalan forest areas.

Among the maintenance programs for power lines, helicopter inspections stand out, where the electricity company has placed thermal imaging cameras and records videos to later inspect them in detail. Endesa flies over and checks in Catalonia – at least once a year – almost 100,000 kilometers of high, medium and low voltage overhead power lines, as well as other relevant infrastructure, such as substations. The information, accompanied by other media, has been able to see first-hand how these inspections are carried out in the natural environment of the municipality of Terrassa.

The company explains that thermographic and visual inspections have increasingly semi-automatic (‘machine learning’) or automatic (‘deep learning’) information processing. And once you receive the photographs and thermograms obtained in the helicopter inspections, all the data is manually labeled, which becomes part of a large database that allows you to see which are the most common problems or which are the most ‘ healthy’. In subsequent review, and in a semi-automatic manner, you can compare the photographs obtained with the database and detect if defects are repeated using a computer application.

The step further, both in terms of thermography and visual inspection, is what is known as ‘deep learning’, a discipline in which it is a computer application that reviews photographs, videos and frames, in a way that the system on its own learns to recognize each element and its state. For its part, thermography consists of flying over power lines and capturing images through an infrared camera, which records the cable and detects whether or not there is a hot spot (with a temperature higher than that of the cable itself, that is, , with risk of overheating), impossible to see with the naked eye. If any anomaly is detected, such as the coordinates of the ‘hot spot’ being recorded, the company automatically activates the mechanism to fix it quickly. This predictive and preventive maintenance of the company’s facilities allows us to avoid possible incidents and future breakdowns.

Thermographic inspection of electrical lines.

Endesa

Thermographic examinations are not only carried out by helicopter, but are also complemented by aerial eye examinations at the line. Furthermore, throughout this year, both on foot and with an all-terrain vehicle – equipped with a special camera – the lines will be traversed, thermographically inspecting the most risky points, such as junctions with highways, roads and railways.

The company has also been using drones since the 2012 campaign to check the status of the electrical grid. These unmanned aerial vehicles are equipped with high-resolution stabilized cameras that allow images of the lines to be captured, especially in places that are difficult to access, and without having to interrupt service to customers. The drone with LiDAR technology joins the already common ones: those with conventional optics and those that also perform thermography.

An Endesa technician checks the status of the power line using a drone.

Antonio Martos Villar

The company thus aims to speed up detailed visual inspections of the aerial wiring elements, since a power outage does not have to be scheduled for technicians to climb the supports and examine the infrastructure, which improves quality and continuity. . Of the service, while providing more security. Endesa began to use drones to verify the width of the corridors and safety paths that are under Yin those of the line and that fire extinguishers, so that they also serve to audit felling and pruning, and could carry out aerial reconnaissance of the terrain in case of emergency situations.

Despite the spectacle that the helicopter or drones can provide, one of the most essential tasks is the felling and selective pruning of the forest mass – trees, undergrowth and bushes – that grows around the power lines, respecting the stipulated space. by the administration between the forest and the nearest cables. They are both horizontal and vertical jobs. The tasks are carried out following the criteria of collaboration with territorial agents, such as the fire department, rural agents, Natural Parks of Catalonia or the administrations.

An operator carries out logging tasks during Endesa’s fire prevention campaign.

Endesa

The prevention campaign, which is daily and lasts until September, thus has three axes: the felling and pruning of forests, temperature checks of helicopters and inspections with the help of drones. “This year is an especially important year due to the drought that we have been experiencing for the last three years, which makes the situation in the forest especially worrying,” says Endesa’s head of maintenance for high voltage lines and substations in Catalonia, Francesc López. .

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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