Power utility Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske intends to use drones to monitor and detect breakdowns in the networks of its distribution system operators (DSOs).
Elektrokrajina is the first distribution company in which drones should be used, and Elektroprivreda Republike Srpske (ERS) has launched a tender for the preparation of a study and the delivery of a drone for monitoring and detecting glitches on power lines, eKapija reported.
ERS’s plan mirrors Kosovo’s distribution system operator (DSO) KEDS, which began monitoring the grid using drones in October.
The company from the Republic of Srpska, one of two entities making up Bosnia and Herzegovina, added that drones can significantly change the way transmission lines are overseen.
Drones can reduce power line inspection costs by more than 20 times, provide more more accurate data
The use of drones can significantly reduce costs of inspecting power lines and tall pillars, even by more than 20 times, with much more accurate data obtained, ERS said.
The company noted in the tender documentation that the distribution network of Elektrokrajina is very long – 22,475 kilometers. It passes through hilly and mountainous areas with lush vegetation, and in some parts through canyons and terrains that are difficult to reach.
It makes monitoring and maintenance of the medium-voltage grid difficult, especially for locating the points of breakdowns, which often occur in bad weather conditions.
Drones can help detect network breakdowns faster
According to the company, losses during outages are very high because they can last for very long. Elektrokrajina’s total electricity losses on overhead lines are around 12%.
ERS estimated the value of procurement at EUR 92,000 excluding value-added tax. The deadline for completing the job is six months.
The company intends to organize the project so that the knowledge gained by using drones for the needs of Elektrokrajina can be transferred to the other four DSOs.