Utility companies face several challenges, and some come from what we know how to manage best, vegetation. Vegetation encroachment is the foundation of where BRIM, Inc. offers support to Utility Coops. Click the “Utilities” link or visit the Electric Co-op page to learn about some ways we support obtaining valuable information which allows companies to turn reactive problems into proactive solutions.
Projects involving various Electric Co-op groups are based on the gathering, processing, and strategic identification and planning of encroaching vegetation on utility right of ways. This is done through the use of specialized High Definition cameras and sensors, in particular LiDAR (Light Distance and Ranging). Lidar allows for precision location and distance of vegetation encroachment allowing for planning and removal of critical areas. Vegetation removal is critical for continuous electric distribution without outages and emergency repairs. Understanding and knowing where to remove such risk vegetation prior to major wind and storm events can drastically reduce not only the number of outages, but also the expense of repairs from such damage to the distribution lines. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UASs) are utilized in order to gather data in a timely and cost effective manner. The end results are extremely valuable and strategic information which changes how budgeting, planning, and execution of vegetation control and removal for right of ways is managed.
In addition to identifying vegetation encroachment areas, the use of thermal sensors and High Definition (HD) cameras support identification of system defect locations. Thermal sensor data can be used to identify where equipment is running above ideal temperatures and as such should be identified for further inspection/repairs. HD cameras can help identify physical defects in poles, line, and other hardware to identify areas in need of closer inspection/maintenance/replacement.
High Definition Cameras (HD):