Breda, November 13th, 2018 – SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, has successfully suspended a cable between two high-voltage pylons using a drone. This technology was first used in the Netherlands.
Using a drone to suspend cables between high-voltage pylons offers major advantages. This mode of operation protects the ground, as well as plants and wildlife nearby and between the pylons. In addition, pulling cables over difficult terrain is made easier when a drone takes over much of the work.
Egbert Verwaal, Technical & Process Manager at SPIE, comments: “Sometimes we have to walk back and forth five or six times between two pylons. Unfortunately, this means disturbing the flora and fauna in the area. We also regularly need to cross ditches or work where access is difficult. The drone can now do that preparatory work, to help us save time for other operations.” The test was carried out in Geertruidenberg (in the South of the Netherlands) under the watchful eyes of TenneT, drone provider AceCore, and the Environment and Transport Inspection (the regulatory agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management). The drone took the cable over 150 metres and hung it at the pylon. This operation is usually repeated for each high voltage cable, which means 10 to 12 drone flights between two high voltage pylons.
Drone pilot Johnny van der Poel, adds: “We’re happy that the drone passed with flying colours for this job. Of course, there are still improvements to be made in the system, for example to loosen and hold the cable, and in the communication between colleagues who need to give each other instructions. This was the first test, and the fact that the drone was able to suspend the cable is a major step in the right direction.”
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