A novel technology has been devised by NASA researchers at the Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia which allows safe and autonomous inspection of high-voltage grids.
The technology examines, inspects and detects a corona discharge with the help of ultra violet (UV) cameras and helps power line inspections easier. The corona discharge indicates a power line fault.
Presently it's impossible to examine power lines continuously. But this technology would make the task easier for the maintenance crew with the help of a specialised camera that would allow spot checks in every couple of months.
The technology will help isolate the region of corona discharge more accurately which makes it a crucial tool for wildfire detection and location, trolley maintenance, inspecting and detecting power transmission line, spotting fault and electric rail applications, a NASA statement revealed.
What makes this technology innovation is the use of UV instead of infrared (IR) which turned out to be problematical for detecting corona discharge caused by intervention from other sources.
Here are the top benefits of this new technology:
- It is not expensive.
- Libraries of typical UV images of corona discharges by component type (i.e. insulator vs conductor) can be added to the firmware to provide additional inspection capabilities
- It can be used with drones and GPS to find out the exact location of faults easily