Aleksandar

Power line inspection vs drones vs classical way vs helicopter

5 posts in this topic

Good evening,

I use infrared camera on my daily work for inspection power lines  on classical way of inspection and I plan to switch on drones. Can you help me and send info simple cost benefit analyse: using for inspection drones vs classical way vs helicopter. If you have only info about price of 1 km inspection by drones vs classical way vs helicopter and same for time consumption it would be enough. I have some info that 1 km inspection by drone costs around 28$.

Thanks in advance ou your answer.

Aleksandar

 

 

 

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Hi @Aleksandar, good to see you in here.

I won't be much help with this question, but maybe someone else will chime in. My gut tells me that it depends on what kind of power line inspection you're doing. Who is the company that needs the inspecting done? What do they need done? What are they currently doing? Seems like this research would be best done directly with those companies / your potential clients.

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Hi Alan. Thank you on your guidelines. Yes, you are right I will do this research directly with my potential clients. 

Blue skies and safe flying,

Aleksandar

 

 

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Hi Aleksandar,

I am also very interested in this space. Did you gather more information regarding this? Classical/traditional versus drones on power line inspection

Edited by A.G
clarification

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Hey gang,

I realize I'm reanimating an old thread here, but I thought I might be able to provide some insight. Aleksandar, based on your initial comment it seems like you're already pretty experienced conducting thermographic inspections by hand. Since that's the case, I wont dive into the theory of thermography and conducting inspections here. We do have an awesome Course on that if you want to check it out!

To answer your question about the economics, I'm surprised at the $28/km going rate. In fact, at least in the market I'm used to flying in, (Midwestern US) that would barely cover the costs of someone walking to each pylon with a handheld thermal sensor. And all of that is before you factor in the report generation, ETC. 

 

Adding a helicopter to the mix, brings your fixed costs up to about $300-$350 per flight just to run the thing. (aircraft rentals are usually charged by "HOBBS" time, or the time that the engine is running) then, because you cant fly a helicopter and point a sensor (Believe me, I'm an airplane pilot and I cant chew gum and fly a helicopter at the same time. I've tried!) you'll need to hire a pilot. Let's assume he charges about $30/hr. Now, we're up to $330-$380/hr just to get in the air, so before you even factor in your up-charge you're up to a fixed cost of almost $3,000 per day. Add your price on top of that, not super competitive. 

at least in my neck of the woods, thermal pilots are usually paid per day, and when flying a drone can bill anywhere between $2,500 and $4,000 daily including drone, insurance, and data analysis. if a pilot could inspect 20km of lines in a day (a brisk pace, but not impossible) a power company would pay about $125/km for the inspection and reports.

 

That ends up being $.012 per meter with a drone. For a multi-million dollar power company, that's dirt cheap.

 

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