The Use Of Drones In Utilities And Energy Sectors

For a long time, gaps in drone regulation had stonewalled the ability of utilities to use drones for certain applications. All this changed in 2016 when the Federal Aviation Administration issued new regulations paving the way for the use of drones in utilities.

While the new rules are only applicable for drones that weigh less than 55 pounds, the FAA gives the option for people/firms to apply for a waiver to this limitation as long as they can operate the drone safely and under the terms of the exception. It is this option that provides utilities with endless possibilities of incorporating unmanned aerial systems (UAS).… Read the rest

Inspecting Utility Lines And Towers With Drones

Drones in utilities

The Electric Power Research Institute has been looking into the prospects of using drones in power line management.

In October 2015, the research institute  held a three-day workshop with different utility companies to discuss the options available.

By using simple drones, nothing more than a small helicopter model with a few sensors and a camera, they were able to carry out a safe, clear inspection of lines at a hydroelectric plant in the Catskill Mountains.  This type of drone work is also used in farming and land surveying to gather aerial data.

This sounds great for technological progress in the industry but while there are potential benefits, there are also obstacles.

There are clear advantages to using drones in this line of work

Drones in Utility and power line inspectionThe benefits of using drones in this capacity are clear – these simple machines … Read the rest