The Electricity Company of Ghana Limited has launched the use of drones, the first of its kind in the company’s operations.
This was revealed on Thursday, 22 October 2020, after a successful training of drone engineers at the company’s training school in Tema.
The introduction of 15 drone machines in the company’s operations has become essential for the successful surveillance and auditing of the company’s network to resolve the major challenge of vegetation intrusion in the network, as well as to locate weak points on the network for prompt rectification.
Wingtra drones, supplied and serviced by Sahara Natural Resources, will last up to 1 hour in flight and fly up to 8 km while still in touch with the control tablet, which records information and videos for later reference.
Other ways in which the organization will benefit from this program, as explained by the Managing Director , Mr. Kwame Agyeman-Budu, include regular technical checks of the power grid to detect faults, right-of – way checks of overhead lines to detect vegetation intrusions, thermal inspections of the network to identify hot spots, verification of work performed by bush clearing and tree cutting.
According to Mr. Kwame Agyeman-Budu, artificial intelligence, like drones, is increasingly becoming a critical weapon in the service of transmission and distribution utilities because of their capacity to provide access to challenging positions on power lines for the purpose of carrying out checks without shutting down the lines and causing interruptions.
He also suggested that the use of drones would greatly minimize the risk of injuries to their technical personnel and minimize the expense of carrying out inspections by using aerial thermal cameras, as well as the timeline for carrying out inspections of the power system; “activities that could take days could be carried out by drones within minutes.”
Electricity Company is confident that the inclusion of drones would increase the performance, reliability of power supply to consumers and modernize their operations and place the company as a leading provider of utility services.