Electric utilities performing transmission line aerial patrols and inspections are now receiving valuable new data from regularly scheduled flights by placing Exacter sensor technology on-board the aircraft. As the aircraft flies, Exacter's technology automatically identifies and maps conditions known to cause power outages along transmission infrastructure. These conditions are unseen by other inspections methods and technologies such as visual and infrared scans. Condition locations are geo-tagged and stored for reporting and analysis. This data can be used over time for trend analysis to identify line sections, and/or specific structures for targeted maintenance. Exacter customers can view and analyze all assessment data 24/7 - 365 from a proprietary web portal.
"Utilities are leveraging scheduled transmission line patrols and inspections simply by placing our units on-board their aircrafts and receiving data on specific locations that are exhibiting pre-fail conditions that pose risk to their systems and customers," states Exacter President Geoffrey Bibo. "It's notable that we uncover conditions that are NOT revealed with LIDAR, infrared, or visual inspection methods -- meaning utilities are receiving new visibility and insight into the health of their transmission system that allows them to take remedial action before a real problem occurs."
"The unique asset health data Exacter provides also means a better demonstration of compliance for utilities," continues Bibo. "Using Exacter's proprietary findings that reveal undetected deterioration and degradation present on transmission structures allows utilities to show a new level of quality control and quality assurance compliance to regulators. On a more practical operation level, having the ability to go to specific locations and remediate potential breaker trips before they occur can make a significant impact to overall transmission reliability." This kind of technology that demonstrates improvement to transmission grid resiliency is something that the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) is looking to promote and partner with.
Exacter has performed aerial assessments of transmission lines since 2008 for a number of utilities in the United States and Canada. Exacter's flexible sensor technology can be easily mounted on drones, planes, and helicopters. "The simplicity of putting an Exacter unit on-board existing flights and getting new visibility and insight empowers utility management to make informed decisions for impacting reliability," concluded Bibo. "It's an easy way to receive true conditions-based intelligence for transmission asset management."