Powerco is trialling a range of power pole and cross arm inspection technologies that may help maintain and improve the safety and reliability of electricity networks across the North Island.
During the next few days a series of poles in rural areas on the outskirts of Inglewood will be inspected using a hexcopter, a small unmanned vehicle, operated by a ground based pilot.
Powerco Network Operations Manager Phil Marsh said the trial was possibly a New Zealand first for an electricity lines company.
“We are excited to be working with innovative New Plymouth based firm, Rotorcam, for this project. The hexcopter can provide high quality footage of the tops of poles and cross arms which can usually only be achieved by using a helicopter.”
Mr Marsh said Powerco was committed to providing a safe and reliable electricity network and any technology that helped the Company more accurately determine the condition of its power poles and cross arms would assist in improving network performance and safety.
For safety reasons, the operator should not be approached whilst the aircraft is flying, and the aircraft should not be approached whilst in operation.
Powerco has around 310,000 poles on its electricity network and is seeking improved technologies to assess the strength and condition of poles and cross arms to help improve network performance to customers.