New Video Technology Aids in Power Grid Inspections
Think for a minute about how much we depend on electricity. We couldn’t live without it. Now think about the tens of thousands of miles of above and underground cables and wires it takes to deliver a consistent flow to tens-of-millions of locations around the globe.
It’s a tremendous undertaking and responsibility for the power companies and power line grid inspection teams. Today, they’re not only concerned about Mother Nature’s impact on the “grid,” they’re also facing threats from illegal construction along the throughways and the possibility of sabotage to the towers and lines. Staying one step ahead and keeping the power distribution infrastructure safe and fully operational takes constant monitoring and inspection.
Not long ago, these critical line, tower and cable inspections were all completed by specialized ground based teams. On a good day the typical crew could inspect three or four towers. As the grid continued to grow, this methodology has become much too slow and labor intensive.
Today, many of the world’s leading municipal power companies are turning their inspections over to crews flying specially equipped helicopters. These airborne crews cannot only inspect six to eight towers in an hour, they can use high-tech video equipment to digitally record these inspections for later analysis.
Avalex Technologies is extremely proud that a growing number of power providers, as well as the contract companies that provide these aerial inspection services, are putting their trust in our new-generation HD monitors, video system controllers, and HD DVRs for this critical work.
Two recent examples are the selection of our digital video equipment by two major providers: Western Power Distribution and National Grid Line Inspection as part of the upgrade programs for their fleets of Airbus and Bell helicopters.
While the selected equipment is slightly different, both operators chose Avalex because our digital video solutions are designed and manufactured to the highest standards and have proven to be able to stand up to the rugged helicopter operations environment. That’s something COTS equipment is not meant to do. Operators that choose consumer type products soon find themselves needing to replace their equipment, which means their helicopters are on the ground, not in the air surveying their power grid.
In addition to our rugged design and construction, another reason that Avalex equipment is proving to be extremely popular with line inspection providers because of the ease of which our system architecture can be integrated with additional system components such as infrared camera turrets, LIDAR laser surveying devices, and other systems. Our open philosophy means that Avalex products make installations easier and offer the upgradeability to protect the operator’s investment longer.