In a new trial, Jemena is using advanced light detection and ranging (LiDAR) image capture technology to determine if overhead power lines in its power grid need maintenance.
The trial will also assess the benefits the technology can bring to vegetation management and other maintenance and design work on utility poles and wires.
Jemena Managing Director, Asset and Operations Electricity, Karl Edwards, said the use of LiDAR technology aims to further improve the security and reliability of the power grid.
“When LiDAR technology is combined with high-resolution imagery, it is able to create a very accurate three-dimensional model of the electrical distribution network and surrounding vegetation,” Edwards said.
“This technology can improve grid security and reliability by improving the ability to detect when vegetation grows too close to power lines.”
Mr Edwards said that currently vegetation inspections around Jemena network assets are carried out by trained professionals on a two-year cycle.
“Through the use of LiDAR technology, we anticipate that we will be able to build a full 3D model in less than 10% of the time it would take to assess vegetation clearances using existing techniques,” said Mr. .Edwards.
“In addition to increased accuracy and speed, this will also allow for the construction of detailed models that will predict vegetation growth rates. This will help us shape our network design and development in the future and lead to better predictive maintenance planning.
The trial of LiDAR technology is part of a series of initiatives implemented by Jemena to innovate and improve its electrical network for the benefit of customers and the community.
“Along with other recent innovations, such as improve the reliability of solar power on our gridwe are investing to improve supply reliability and increase our efficiency, which helps us provide the best possible service to our customers,” Mr. Edwards said.