From cell towers to wind turbines, here’s how drones are used by utility companies

Utility Companies Using Drones

From inspecting communications towers to preventing megafires caused by damaged power cables, drones are versatilely used by utility companies across several different areas. Let’s take a look at the different ways in which drones are being used by utility companies.

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Communication tower inspection with drones

Routine inspection of cell towers, including new 5G towers, can be performed by autonomous drones carrying high-definition cameras and other sensors. As a result, climbers will only need to scale these towers to perform repairs or maintenance.

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Power line inspection with drones

Drones can be used to inspect power lines and their surround areas at a fraction of the cost per mile than a helicopter would cost. Drones can check for vegetative growth around the power lines, marking areas for brush clearance.

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Wildfire prevention with drones

In areas at elevated risk of wildfires, drones can be used to detect degraded or damaged transmission infrastructure before a fire starts or an outage occurs, and ensure a team is sent out to treat the issue before it develops into a disastrous fire, such as the recent megafires in California.

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Inspecting wind turbines with drones

Wind turbines are routinely inspected for maintenance purposes 2-3 times per year. Using a drone to inspect blades for irregularities or signs of wear instead of a human climber increases safety and reduces cost and time.

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