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Drones will check 7000 km of high voltage cables

Drones can get an overview of the supply network and replace time-consuming manual inspection and helicopters, which cost millions in inspections annually, results from the Drones4Energy project at SDU show.

By Jakob Haugaard Christiansen, , 12/10/2021

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Drones4Energy

A project led by the Maersk McKinney-Møller Institute's drone centre at SDU.

Project manager Emad Samuel Malki Ebeid from the drone centre at the Maersk McKinney-Møller Institute at SDU. He also led the EU Horizon 2020 project Drones4safety, which is closely related.

Over 42 months, the researchers from the Faculty of Engineering in Odense have developed a drone platform that makes it possible to have autonomous flying drones inspect the Danish network of high-voltage cables of approximately 7000 km and report faults and deficiencies.

The drones operate in swarms of four so they can reach all the way around the cables and with the help of artificial intelligence they "only" have to focus on faults and shortcomings on the network.

As part of the work, the project has developed a combined gripper and "charger" so that the drone can connect to the power cable when the battery is about to be discharged. Here it hangs for the good two and a half hours it takes before the battery is fully charged and the drone is ready for a new mission.

The project is financed with DKK 14 million from the Innovation Fund and in total DKK 19 million.

The group partners behind Drones4Energy consists of SDU Dronecenter, SDU IMADA, Fraunhofer, Develco, Aarhus University, Geopartner Inspections, Science Ventures.

Meet the researcher

Emad Samuel Malki Ebeid is an associate professor at SDU UAS Center and leads the droneprojects Drones4Energy and Drones4safety.

Contact

Editing was completed: 10.12.2021