PGCIL to buy 16 more drones for surveillance of transmission lines

Twesh Mishra New Delhi | Updated on January 12, 2018 Published on January 22, 2017

Drones allow aerial surveillance, which is much more efficient than manual surveying of power lines.

Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL) will procure another 16 drones as part of its drive to detect defects at the incipient stage in transmission lines.

According to PGCIL officials, the company currently has four drones monitoring transmission lines. Two of these are in deployed Kolkata, one in Bhiwadi (Haryana) and the other one at the company’s corporate centre. “PGCIL administers its transmission lines in the country through 10 regions. The intention is to have two drones per region,” a PGCIL official told BusinessLine.

The company began using drones for line surveillance after getting a green signal from the Directorate General of Civil Aviationand the Ministry of Home Affairs in April 2016. The drone surveillance has been deployed on the Ballia-Bhiwadi HVDC line and the Pune substation, among other regions.

While the drones can monitor an area of 5 km in a single flight, PGCIL officials say that they have not been using them for routine patrolling. The current focus is on fault specific surveillance.

The drones are equipped with ultra HD cameras which can take high resolution close-up photographs and videos of towers and their components. According to PGCIL officials, the cost varies from ₹1.5 lakh to ₹5 lakh apiece for drones with the required specifications. The cost of its existing drones is ₹1.5-2.5 lakh at different specifications.

Drones allow aerial surveillance and it has been much more efficient than manual surveying of power lines. The constant video recording allows better assessment of faults in the existing lines, said PGCIL officials.

Published on January 22, 2017
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