The Edison Electric Institute has named British Columbia Transmission Corp. and Hydro-Québec joint winners of the 2010 Edison Award, the electric utility industry’s highest honor. A panel of former electric company chief executives selected BCTC and Hydro-Québec for their joint submission, earning the two Canadian utilities the 83rd annual award.
In an effort to improve reliability, inspections, and safety, Hydro-Québec Research Institute (IREQ) developed LineScout Technology (LST), a robotic device able to inspect high-voltage transmission lines across long passages. IREQ worked extensively with BCTC to implement LST on BCTC’s large water crossing transmission lines, some of which were built more than 30 years ago and pose unusual challenges during inspection.
The remote-controlled robot uses cameras to inspect line conditions and discover irregularities, while also employing a smart navigation system to pinpoint locations in need of attention. The LST is able to maneuver obstacles such as splices, hardware components and aviation warning markers. Unlike with conventional transmission line servicing, the robot can service the lines while they are energized, saving precious company resources, reducing safety risks and downtime.
Next October, Hydro-Québec will host the 2010 1st International Conference on Applied Robotics for the Power Industry (CARPI 2010).