Using drones for asset inspections

MainPower is currently testing drone technology for visual inspections of power lines and infrastructure. The programme will be trailed in rural areas of the network at the end of the 2023 and will be rolled out across the network in 2024.

Key benefits of our drone inspection program include:

  • Improved Safety: Drones enable remote inspections of power lines, poles, transformers, and other critical infrastructure, reducing the need for field workers to climb assets or use machinery to complete inspections.

  • Efficiency: Drone inspections are quicker than manual inspections. This leads to reduced time spent on customer properties, faster response to potential issues, and improved reliability for our customers.

  • Improved diagnosis tools: As well as high-definition imagery and video, the drones record heat signatures from assets. This will enable MainPower to detect potential issues earlier and schedule necessary maintenance that could prevent power outages.

Drone operators will be operating under Civil Aviation Authority’s Part 101 which dictates the rules for flying unmanned aircrafts in New Zealand. Drones can only be flown within ‘line of sight’ of the operator, capturing photo and video footage of electricity assets including power lines and poles.

Our current protocol for traditional asset inspections still applies to the use of drones. Network Field Operators will continue to gain permission from landowners before accessing or flying over their property. Following an inspection, the landowner can ask to view any captured content.

We are excited to embrace this technology and leverage the potential it holds for our network. By introducing drone inspections, we are continuing our commitment to provide safer, more efficient, and sustainable energy solutions to our customers.

If you have any questions or concerns about the use of drones on the MainPower network, please click here to get in touch.

MainPower NZ Ltd