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Use Case for Drones Emerge

image credit: Photo 244565794 © Pramote Polyamate |
Paul Korzeniowski's picture
B2B Content producer, Self-employed

Paul is a seasoned (basically old) freelance B2B content producer. Through the years, he has written more than 10,000 items (blogs, news stories, white papers, case studies, press releases and...

  • Member since 2011
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  • Sep 11, 2023

Energy companies have large networks of complex equipment that they need to maintain. Their mobile field teams often work in hazardous conditions. Recently, drones have been taking on some of that work.

Utility companies must inspect their infrastructure regularly to ensure it is running properly and to fulfill regulatory requirements. The remote teams spend much of their time outdoors, tinkering with complex machinery. The work is time-consuming and usually strenuous.

Like other enterprises, energy companies have been having trouble finding personnel since the pandemic. Individuals reevaluated their careers, and moved away from physically demanding jobs, such as service technicians. Drones can take on some of the tasks that these employees do.

Drones Simplify Inspections

Inspections are a common task. Individuals drive and sometimes fly in helicopters to examine utility lines, pipelines, solar panels, generators, transceivers, wind turbines, and offshore platforms. They try to identify leaks, corrosion, faults, and evaluate wear and tear that impacts system performance.

Drones can be helpful because they can cover large areas quickly. Also, they often include high resolution cameras and capture high-resolution images and videos that help to evaluate the state of energy company equipment.

Keep Mobile Workers Safe

Improved safety is one benefit of using drones. These equipment can get closer to utility lines than individuals and piloted helicopters. Drones inspect facilities without putting workers at risk. The terrain can often be treacherous, especially in cases when a natural disaster has struck. Energy companies reduce fatal helicopter crashes and worker accidents.

Another plus is drones can access hard-to-reach areas and gather data without disturbing the environment. They can be used for environmental monitoring, including tracking wildlife, monitoring local vegetation, assessing the health of ecosystems surrounding energy company equipment, and determining if utilities need to prune vegetation growth so it does not harm their devices.

In addition, the products can be used for land surveying and mapping, providing accurate topographic data for planning, construction, and maintenance.  They create detailed maps and 3D models of terrain and equipment.

Sending a drone is less expensive than having individuals pack up or sending a helicopter. They reduce the time needed to travel and produce results faster.

Energy companies have field staff that oversee their remote equipment. The work is demanding, expensive, and dangerous. They are turning to drones in a growing number of ways to reduce the burden on their mobile workforce.



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