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Aerial Power Line Inspection Service

Our aerial power line inspection service utilizes the most advanced technology, experienced pilots and electrical power line specialists, and certified operators to detect weak points before they impact the power line network. We utilize local helicopter partners for financial efficiency. Given this scenario, the costs for ferry flights are competitive and all national laws are adhered to. We have an extensive network of helicopter partners and also work with both, the customer’s own fleet or with prequalified independent helicopter companies. Our service is based on the latest generation of calibrated thermographic / infrared measuring, ultraviolet technology and a detailed visual inspection in daylight color rendering. Electrical utilities will benefit from a professional inspection of their transmission and distribution overhead power lines.

Equipment

FLIR Polytech Corona C350The Kelvin 350 and Corona 350 gimbals are manufactured according to Pergam’s specifications by leading manufacturer Polytech / FLIR Systems in Sweden. Gyro-stabilization eliminates helicopter vibrations. Intelligent software features like auto-tracking allow detailed assessment of individual components. Inhouse developed software solutions enable the integration of GIS data, facilitating simultaneous recording of all channels, assignment of GPS information and precise reporting including data archiving.

Pergam provides certified mounts (according to FAA, TC and EASA standards) for all common helicopter types and gladly helps you with the appropriate choice of helicopter. Equipment will be shipped by freight forwarder to a helicopter company near your power lines. Our field engineers and an approved aircraft mechanic install and test the inspection system.

 

UV / Corona CameraThe UV sensor makes corona discharges visible through flashes in the video. Corona – indicating a high electrical field – can be due to inadequate equipment design, the effects of pollution, in-service damage or simple wear and tear. Typically broken or chipped insulators show high electrical discharges and often indicate insulation failures. Broken or stranded wires are perfectly visible with a UV camera and can be detected reliably. This channel detects voltage related effects; the typical lower voltage level is approx. 11 kV. A photon count can be used for quantity purposes.

 

IR / ThermographyThe calibrated infrared camera identifies with 640 x 480 pixels hot spots and thermal differences as small as only 30 mK. Thermographic inspections are particularly suitable for poor connections and current related problems like corroded joints. The radiometric images can be post-processed to determine exact temperature values. For a reliable inspection at least 40 % of the nominal load is required during the inspection flight. Extreme temperatures as well as heavy wind may influence the result.

 

High Definition Daylight VideoThe high definition video camera (1080p/30 Full-HD standard) films the entire inspection. It provides an overview of the corridor and helps with right-of-way (ROW) and vegetation management. The field of view can be adjusted from 2.9° to 55.4°. It is also well suited to inspecting structures for missing bolts and corrosion. A graphic GPS overlay can be implemented in the video stream.

 

High Resolution Still Frame PicturesThe high resolution still frame zoom camera captures 14.7 Megapixel details of individual components or takes high quality photographs of the complete structure to integrate into maintenance software platforms. Damaged, burned, or rotting structures, broken or damaged cross arms, missing aerial marker balls, unreadable structure numbers, etc. are common findings captured with this camera. The photographs are all GPS tagged.

 

 

Inspection Procedure

Aerial Power Line Inspection ServiceTo begin, our customer specifies a section of power line to be inspected. For preliminary planning purposes the location, complete mileage, and the number of structures as well as the voltage level are identified. There is a safety briefing before each inspection flight. Both – the ground and flight crews are briefed about the specifics of low level flying and flying in obstructed environments. Under suitable weather conditions and in consideration of electrical load conditions the route is then inspected. Our detailed pre-flight planning reduces refueling and dead-head flights. The pace of inspection depends on the number of components to be scanned as well as the inspection method selected. An authorized representative is welcome to join the inspection and provide a more classic visual inspection.

Data is stored in digital format and includes a complete documentation of the flight including radiometrical thermographic images, UV image videos, daylight video images, and high resolution still frame photographs of individual components. All data is correlated and overlaid with exact GPS coordinates that can be easily linked to a digital map or GIS solutions. We perform a final review of the data after the flight. You will receive all collected data in a report on an external hard disc. Alternatively, we can provide a custom-designed cloud based report. The report delineates all components that require attention and are divided into fault categories. Defects are marked on a digital map for a fast and clear overview.

Our concept offers utility companies a complete solution for the inspection of transmission lines, distribution lines and even substations. Our infrared and ultraviolet cameras are complementary and provide an ideal combination for setting up a well-established predictive maintenance program. Please contact us for further information.

Equipment rental also available for authorized partners.

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