Flying low on solar fields, wind farms, traditional plants and electricity lines. For a few years now, Enel has been using drones in monitoring and controlling activities.
It's like watching energy coming down from the sky, an unusual point of view that offers several advantages: cost reduction, greater effectiveness for operation and maintenance processes and especially lower risks for workers from the action that is taken, with a positive impact in terms of safety.
“We have started using drones in Italy and Spain and today they are also flying in the United States, Russia and Latin America.”
Drones introduce remarkable improvements in our industrial activities but they are also an innovative instrument in biodiversity protection projects, as is the case of the programme for the protection of the Iberian lynx in Andalusia (Spain).
'Green' drones make the sun shine
Thanks to drones we can fly on our solar fields performing so-called activities of diagnostics that are used to monitor the conditions of panels and their performance.
Equipping UAV (Unmanned aerial vehicle) with high-resolution cameras and infrared thermo-graphic tools we perform check-ups of our solar PV plants with greater rapidity and effectiveness.
“In Deruta (Italy) our drones patrolled in less than an hour some 10,000 solar panels installed on four hectares of land.”
Flying on a solar field means reducing enormously the duration of monitoring activities at the plant that would otherwise have to be performer on the ground using more time and resources.
Greater safety and effectiveness
Drones fly more easily in places and environments that up to now could only be physically reached by our technicians.
The observation of boilers and chimneys at thermal plants, of solar panels or wind blades at high altitudes or of hydroelectric basins has always required the intervention of men.
Drones replace our technicians in complex monitoring operations reducing with the lowest risk for people and increasing safety.
Taking off with startups
Drones are an opportunity to move along the path of open innovation. Various startups that work jointly with us develop projects using drones in the energy sector.
In the activities aimed to control electricity lines as well as traditional and renewable generation plants we use the expertise and the innovative solutions of companies specialising in the use of UAS (Unmanned aerial system).
The effectiveness of our fleet of drones grows thanks to software, sensors and systems developed by startups, makers and 2.0 companies, with which we increasingly collaborate following our Open Power strategy.