MV power lines
Inspection of power line corridors is required according to regulations in several countries. For power lines running in rural or forestry areas, the vegetation often endangers the integrity of the infrastructure: any contact may be the cause of service disruptions.
In most part of cases, visual inspections are performed on foot, or with offroad vehicles or helicopters. However, this approach lacks the objectivity of direct measurement and makes it difficult to keep track of the potential evolution of the risks over time. LiDAR payloads offer a cost-effective solution to completely cover the requirements.
The projectAquila Drones provides inspection services for the power lines property of Iberdrola, a public multinational electric utility based in Bilbao, Spain. The survey covers a corridor of about 8 km in different survey conditions, from the flat ground close to urbanized areas to areas featuring significant elevation differences in the woods.
PurposeThe case study was organized to evaluate the Scanfly workflow in a real-case scenario and confirm the significant advantages expected when compared to the traditional inspection methods. Scanfly Lite was easily deployed in the field on the multiple take-off and landing locations and the whole area was covered in just 5 hours overall in the field.
ResultsThe wires of the medium voltage power lines, featuring a diameter of 8 mm, were successfully segmented in the point clouds, along with the poles and the towers. Vegetation was also classified according to the distance from the wires, and potential interferences were identified and evaluated in terms of present and future risk, based on predictive models of growth.
The Scanfly advantagesSurvey results fully validated the Scanfly workflow. The process allowed gathering more information than the visual inspections previously used and the point cloud models generated were easily stored for future considerations over time.