Usually when there is an issue with a powerline, a utility will send a crew out to inspect what is wrong and what could possibly be causing the problem. PPL Electric has decided to go with a faster route by using drones to inspect the lines and figure out what needs to be repaired. These drones have been equipped by PPL with cameras that allow footage to be transmitted back to the crews so they can assess what is the major issue causing the power failure.
Bill Hanrahan, a drone operator, said to WNEP “Our ability to get out there right after a storm, I think, would benefit the customers as far as reliability, getting broken lines back up, restoring power sooner.”
These drones can also help detect issues before they even cause a major power outage; “We can detect broken insulators, missing hardware, and those things that overtime will probably lead to an outage,” said Mr. Hanrahan to WNEP News.
Currently PPL has three drones and if proven successful, could add more drones to create faster and more reliable service to their customers.