Drones Are Assisting Downed Power Lines in Puerto Rico

Drones can find downed lines and fix them more easily than people.

It’s been over 160 days considering that Puerto Rico lost power throughout Hurricane Maria, and numerous parts of the island are still left in the dark. By far most extended blackout in U.S. history, many people are developing creative services to repair it, and Duke Energy, a North Carolina-based energy company, is utilizing industrial drones to reconstruct the island’s energy infrastructure.

A Duke Energy Zoe drone in Puerto Rico.

Since mid-January, Duke Energy with its 200 volunteers has been clearing fallen power lines and building brand-new lines throughout the island. Fixing fallen power lines is challenging for human beings to do, particularly in Puerto Rico. Very first employees have to locate downed wires, which can be difficult among particles, fallen trees, and undergrowth. In Puerto Rico, that can likewise include hiking through forests, over mountains, and through the endless hard terrain.

When employees discover downed lines, they need to string them throughout the utility poles, which involves attaching weights to those lines and shooting them hundreds of feet in the air.

This, also, is not a simple task. Thankfully, the entire procedure becomes much more comfortable when utilizing drones.

For the past few months, workers have been utilizing 5 AceCore’s Zoe quadcopters to locate fallen power lines throughout Puerto Rico, and to assist fix those lines as soon as they’re discovered.

These Zoe drones– which can bring 26 pounds, fly for 40 minutes, and cost around $15,000 each– can find fallen lines and thread those lines through the poles, saving volunteers lots of time and money.

For the next several months, Duke Energy volunteers– and their drones– will continue working on getting Puerto Rico’s facilities working. That infrastructure is going to be crucial once summer and hotter temperature levels show up. Unfortunately, it’s not likely they’ll fix all Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, even with their handy drone sidekicks.

Source: Duke Energy using Wired