Quality Wind: Improving Drone-based Power Line Condition Assessment

Quality Wind (QW), is a 142-megawatt (MW) wind generation facility owned and operated by Capital Power. Located near Tumbler Ridge, BC a 22km, 230kV transmission line connects the facility to the electrical grid. To reduce costs and improve efficiencies, Aeriosense Technologies was engaged to conduct an aerial drone inspection of the QW line using its innovative inspection automation software.

What We Did
– Detailed condition assessment on 99 structures over four days
– Real-time condition reporting by powerline technician during
inspection flights
– Inspection automation, guiding the drone to key vantage points around the support structures
– Condition monitoring over time by collecting imagery from the
same vantage point

The Results
Aeriosense’s automated inspection proved to be a significant success for the QW transmission line inspection. A comprehensive condition assessment was conducted at 80% cost saving compared to a similar level of conventional inspection and approximately 60% of the time for manual drone inspection plus additional time savings for data management. In addition to identifying several deficiencies a quantitative base line was also established to monitor the condition of components over the next inspection period. The inspection data was also used to identify the ROW vegetation encroachment and help manage planning for the next year.