Bombay Suburban Electric Supply (BSES) distribution company (Discom) has started using drones to ensure reliable power supply for its customers in Delhi. For this, BSES Discom has partnered with Noida-based drone service provider GarudaUAV.
GarudaUAV designs drones for visual and thermal mapping of the electrical infrastructure. The company’s services include construction survey, railway inspection, disaster relief activities, tower inspection, solar thermal inspection, aerial videography, aerial photography and power line inspection.
BSES Discom will be using drones to map the distribution assets, detect power theft, inspect the rooftop solar installations, besides other functions.
The drones used for the initiatives are fitted with high definition cameras and an infrared camera for thermal imaging to identify the hotspots. The dual cameras will allow BSES to inspect overhead lines and equipment, grid-substations, connections, damaged switches, capacitors, detection of theft of equipment and profiling intelligent lines, a BSES spokesperson told Mint.
The drones are capable of accurate assessments of rooftop solar potentials and pointing out the vegetation encroachment around the power infrastructure, the spokesperson added. The body also conducted inspections in the BSES Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL) areas in East Delhi.
“Through thermal scanning, drone assessment was able to determine the health of the network and identify several hotspots, which if unchecked could have caused problems in subsequent months. It was also able to determine the physical condition of the towers and identify deterioration,” the spokesperson added.
Besides this, BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) has also conducted a pilot in 66 kV Paschim Vihar Grid station, 66kV Bodella 1 – Paschim Vihar Circuit 1 and 2 and 33 kV Mukherjee Park Circuit 3 near Chaukhandi in Delhi. With the success of the pilot testing, BSES has decided to go ahead with the plans to use drones for operations and maintenance activities.
A BSES spokesperson said that the company “continuously” looks for state-of-the-art technologies and innovations to better serve its 43 Lakh customers. The company believes that the use of drones will act as a major step in preventive maintenance exercise and ensuring reliable power supply.
Indian Govt Leading The Way For Drones
As per ‘Make in India for Unmanned Aircraft Systems’ report by EY, Indian government bodies are leading the way for the application of the drones system in India.
Highways Authority of India, along with several Indian startups, conducted a digital 3D mapping of the Raebareli-Allahabad highway. The data collected by the drones played an important role in the computation of compensation for the people, whose property rights were affected by the projects.
In addition, The state-owned power corporation, National Thermal Power Corporation, also got the approval from the ministry of defence and power to use drones for monitoring project development.