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How Drones Are Helping Power Utility Companies

Keeping squirrels and rodents from damaging your power lines is a top priority for Critter Guard, but these pests are not the only thing to worry about when it comes to keeping the power on. Heavy rainfall, high-speed winds, and debris caused by major weather events can also wreak havoc on a power system. Maintaining the grid calls for regular inspection of potentially damaged equipment to ensure its continued integrity. In recent years, drones have become a safe and cost-effective way of inspecting the grid.

quadcopter drone in flight

What Are Drones?

A drone is essentially an unpiloted aircraft that is typically controlled remotely. Drones can carry cameras and other sensors that gather information on power equipment that would otherwise require a helicopter or human risk to climb to inspect. Drones enable companies opportunities to find and fix problems before there is a disturbance in power distribution.

Pros and Cons of Drone Use

Pros

Drones can save companies up to 50% over the cost of hiring a pilot and crew to fly a helicopter over sections of power lines. Drones are more fuel-efficient and can hover in one spot longer than a helicopter can. This increases the chances of finding problematic equipment and getting it fixed before disturbances occur. Drones are also able to get closer to the equipment for a better look without any added risk.

Cons

The drawback to using drones for inspection lies in the laws governing drone use. The full potential of this technology is hampered by legislation making it illegal to operate them beyond line-of-sight or from moving vehicles. Because of this, helicopters must be employed in tandem to quickly inspect large sections or to reach out-of-the-way equipment. Breaking these strict laws could cost a company anywhere between a few hundred to more than a million dollars in fines.

The Importance of Prevention

With the cost and risk of inspecting your power equipment, it has never been more important to do everything possible to protect your lines from sustaining damage, especially from squirrels, rodents, raptors, and more. You may not be able to control the weather, but you can prevent pests from gaining access to your equipment. Contact us today to learn more about our humane critter deterrent and prevention options.

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