Never miss electrical faults

Electrical grid maintenance teams seek to find abnormalities on their high- and medium-voltage installations. The most common technologies that are being used for this are ultraviolet and infrared. Ultraviolet cameras detect PD and corona, while thermal cameras detect hot spots. Both technologies are classified as remote nondestructive testing, and their output complements each other. Lately, the interest in using UAS for grid inspection got intensive attention due to the economic advantages involved and the innovative futuristic promise. Ofil Ltd., the manufacturer of DayCor® corona cameras, renowned for their highest sensitivity to UV signals, hit the road with a miniature corona camera, DayCor® micROM HD, dedicated to UAVs. The big deal about this camera is its performance, design and straightforward plug-N-play integration. The micROM camera is currently the only HD small camera that fits most drones, and it is already used by utilities in the USA, Europe and Asia.

The benefits in using corona cameras

Corona PD is both an indicator of faults and an active malignant factor that should be treated. Corona releases abrasive acids that compromise insulation and corrodes metal. Corona releases ultraviolet, audio noise and causes radio interferences, not to mention the incurred electrical losses. Corona is a voltage related phenomenon, and it can be expected in locations with local high electrical fields, of voltages that exceed a threshold of 3 kV/mm. Grid engineering architects are aware of corona and try to avoid it. Once detected, corona should be monitored and, under certain conditions, extinguished without delay. Corona, as such, serves both as an indicator of exiting unplanned processes and as an actor. Seeing corona is advantageous hence it leads inspectors to the exact location of faults. The need to pinpoint and document occurrences of corona is strongly linked to reliability and to maintenance cost. Ofil’s corona cameras for drones provide a professional solution addressing exactly this need.

Implementing corona inspection on drones entails specific camera features, such as compact dimensions and weight, stabilized imaging and high sensitivity to signals, to list a few. Ofil, the pioneer manufacturer of daytime corona detection systems, came up with a dedicated solution to comply with drones’ specifics and with utilities' expectations.

The purpose: Collecting information

Electrical line inspections are performed regularly in order to check their physical and electrical conditions. During an inspection, teams collect information in various formats. The collected information is documented and used as a reference for management reports and action items, and therefore must be accurate, reliable and readable. Drones and UAVs are efficient cost effective platforms, easy to operate and with the DayCor® micROM HD, they can deliver the expected data in reduced cost and time.