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Article of the Month:

The Use of Infrared and Solar-blind UV Cameras and UAS / Drones to Inspect Utility Transmission Lines

James Brady
Level III Certified Infrared Thermographer

Brady Infrared Inspections, Inc.
935 Pine Castle Court

Stuart, FL 34996

Ph: 772-288-9884


Transmission lines are the critical backbone of the utility power grid. They are the “heavy lifters” of electricity, providing the link between electrical generation plants and substations that distribute power to the consumer. Power outages on these lines can be widespread affecting from several hundred to thousands of customers. Typical thermal problems occurring on such lines include loose connectors and splices. Equally to blame are failed insulators which are the result of damage due to corona discharge.

This presentation is based on a recent project that used solar-blind UV cameras and infrared thermal imagers to inspect a large transect of 138kV transmission lines in Florida. The results of this study will look at the common factors these technologies share and point out their unique strengths for inspecting transmission lines. Also presented is how drones were used to document and classify the severity of reported problems.

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