The process of inspecting and assessing the condition of towers, power lines, poles, substations, power plants, rigs and other structures and assets for companies in the power and utility sector is typically done by human workers. This usually involves putting workers in dangerous situations in order to get this important work done. Modern UAV (drone) technology has transformed how a variety of different tasks are conducted in many different industries. Whether used in agriculture, urban planning, construction, mining, or other business sectors like power and utilities, using drones improves workplace safety and saves time and money.

Many power and utility companies have begun using drone technology to inspect power plants, a task that would have shut down the plant for days or weeks. Now, drones that are equipped with HD cameras, radars, laser scanners, and more can finish inspections in mere hours. UAV technology allows companies to inspect oil rigs and find any problems before they happen. Efficiency is one of the great benefits that power and gas companies have achieved through the use of drones to inspect substructures and find hot spots on transformers. The high degree of data accuracy and insight that can be gained by UAV technology for power and utility companies is already impressive and these advances will only increase in the coming years.


Drones are great for inspecting solar panel installations, as they can get very close to the roof of any building, regardless of how high. During this inspection, they are able to provide highly detailed photos and videos to assess whether or not the solar panels are still producing power. Drones in the energy sector are also used for inspections of wind and solar farms, along with hydropower and thermal plants. If a company is interested in the construction of an energy installation, drones can be used for surveying and mapping the topography of the location, saving time and resources that would have been used through traditional methods of mapping and surveying. While the structure is being constructed, drones can monitor the progress as well.


Although now in its infancy stage, the use of drones for companies in the power and utility industry will continue to grow. Each passing year brings more technological advances, thus increasing the capabilities of UAV technology. The many benefits of utilizing drones include an increase in overall efficiency and speed, cost savings, accurate data collection, and better workplace safety. Humans will always be needed for repairs and maintenance, but drones can accomplish many other important jobs for power and utility companies.

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