Enedis is conducting an industrial-scale trial to assess the efficacy of deploying a drone-based solution to measure the work required for cutting back vegetation along overhead power lines. The company has mandated Delair, a leader in commercial drones, to fly along 500 km of power lines in the French départements of the Aveyron and the Lot. On 1 September, the Delair team is presenting a drone flight on site in the village of Sainte Radegonde, in the Aveyron département.
Initiated by Enedis, this mission consists of an inspection of the high-voltage network (20,000 volts) with a “DT18” mini-drone weighing 2 kg along 300 km of power lines in the Aveyron and 200 km in the Lot. This full-scale trial will enable Enedis to assess the efficacy under real conditions of a sustainable system using a drone to measure the work required for cutting back vegetation along long-distance overhead power lines.
In concrete terms, the drone flies over the power lines to film and take photos from which to reconstruct a 3D view of the line and its surrounding vegetation. Once the flight is completed, Delair conducts a diagnosis leading to an inventory of the pruning required, which it submits to Enedis. From this inventory, Enedis can check how far the vegetation is from its lines in the area visited and schedule the necessary pruning campaigns.
The use of this drone to inspect the lines has several advantages for Enedis. In flying over its target with a range that can exceed 100 km, the drone, designed by Delair and certified for flying operations beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight, is capable of patrolling the network in a relatively short time and performing a highly detailed analysis.
If the trial proves to be conclusive, this new method could, in the long term, be an alternative solution to the inspections currently carried out on foot, which are often problematic for the technicians when confronted with particularly rough terrain.
Pruning is one of the most important aspects of the maintenance of the electricity grid for Enedis. It helps reduce the number of electrical glitches and avoid blackouts due to branches or trees falling on the lines in high winds, snowfalls or storms.
Delair, a global leader in professional drones, supports corporate decision-making with its long-range drones. This French start-up, founded by four engineers in 2011, provides unrivalled professional data, collected and analysed by the only drones in the world certified for flying operations beyond the pilot’s visual line of sight. Delair also offers an integrated data-processing solution, to support decision-making tool in all sectors of industry. Delair is already present in 30 countries and has more than 60 employees involved in many areas such as agriculture, infrastructure, energy, mining and construction.
Antonia Gleizes – firstname.lastname@example.org – +33 (0)9 72 50 56 34
Enedis is a public service company, managing the French electricity distribution network and employing 38,000 people. Serving 35 million customers, it develops, operates and modernises 1.4 million kilometres of low and medium voltage electricity networks (220 and 20,000 volts) and manages the associated data. Enedis connects customers, provides 24/7 repairs, reads meters and performs technical interventions. It is independent of the energy providers, who are responsible for sales and the management of contracts for the supply of electricity. In the Aveyron, Enedis develops, operates, modernises and maintains more than 16,000 km of low and medium voltage electricity networks, 30% and 28% of which respectively are laid underground. Enedis pruned 3,207 km of the network in our département in 2015, representing a financial investment of more than EUR 3 million.
Michel Cordonnier – email@example.com – +33 (0)1 81 97 41 17