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Regular inspections can help utilities maintain their portion of the grid.

image credit: Image courtesy of Monroe Infrared Technology
Jason Franssen's picture
Lineman Supervisor Monroe Infrared Technology

With several years experience as a lineman I strive to do the best inspections including thermal imaging and RGB for utilities and industrial sectors. This is done by keeping my training and...

  • Member since 2022
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  • Jul 1, 2022
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Sometimes it is the littlest things that cause the biggest problems - like this cotter key on a transmission line. If left unnoticed its loss would lead to a catastrophic failure with the phase falling.  The severity  repercussions from this may vary depending on location, number of services downline, environmental damages, and if it is crossing a major roadway or residential area. 

High-Res aerial images taken in close proximity to the structure are essential to finding issues that may be missed in other types of inspections.  These types of inspections performed on a regular schedule can also help you track areas of high wear on components, allowing you to better schedule and maintain your lines.

Images being inspected by Journeyman Linemen are also a vital key to an inspection. They notice the little things and know firsthand where the weak points normally would surface. Utilizing their years of experience is one of the biggest assets of the inspection process.

Regular visual and IR inspection of your system are not very expensive, can greatly improve the reliability of your system and will save down time and money.  And sometimes just the issues that are found and reported by our trained drone pilots at the time of the flight  can save enough to justify the cost of the inspection.

As Linemen and Thermographers we take pride in the reliability of the grid, and with everything that utilities can do to make it better and efficient so they can pass savings on to the end-user in the way of lower rates. It is our job as industry professionals to aid in every way to optimize the Power Grid by making it safer and more efficient to operate.

Jason Franssen's picture
Thank Jason for the Post!
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Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jul 1, 2022

It's great to see the embrace of technology to make the job of a lineman more efficient. Do you find that some mare more resistant to adopt the technology, though? 

Jason Franssen's picture
Jason Franssen on Jul 6, 2022

Yes, there has been some resistance, especially in the beginning. I do believe that as time goes on, more and more utilities are embracing the technology and using this type of inspection to help them with costs and maintain their systems.

Nevelyn Black's picture
Nevelyn Black on Jul 12, 2022

The use of drones for transmission line inspections has come a long way.  Recently, Dominion Energy was granted a ‘Beyond Visual Line of Sight’ waiver from the FAA operation.  This will allow the utility to increase productivity and efficiency.  Dominion is partnering with Skydio to complete facility and line inspections.  Do you think this method of inspection will continue as partnerships between utilities and drone/software companies or will more utilities obtain their own equipment and pilots for drone inspections?

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