The following computer vision use cases, especially when combined with 5G, have led to smart, effective, and enhanced operations.
Drone inspections of poles, towers, lines, and substations.
To identify issues proactively, many utilities use drones to inspect power generation, transmission, distribution, and substation networks. Cameras acquire detailed photos and videos, and 5G supports rapid transmission of data-intensive files to the back office. There, staff can evaluate visuals and provide instructions while crews are still at remote sites. Real-time decision-making helps improve outcomes while potentially saving time and money.
Surveillance at substations.
Equipment reliability, safety, and security are more important than ever for electrical utilities. That’s especially true for substations, where attacks are increasing, according to Mobile Communications America. Video surveillance and remote monitoring ensure that even substations located in the most distant and rural areas remain secure. If an intruder does enter your property, you can use computer vision, for example, to detect their presence, conduct facial or license plate recognition, communicate with them, and notify law enforcement.
Early detection of wildfires.
Fires sparked by utility equipment result in injuries and fatalities as well as loss of homes and businesses. Computer vision systems help uncover anomalies in infrastructure that can lead to equipment failure and ignition. In addition, utilities can use computer vision for early wildfire detection with real-time alerts and precise location information. Responders get the data they need to reach the scene quickly, act effectively, and protect communities and the environment.
Transmission and distribution health and planning.
Field technicians cover thousands of miles to perform maintenance and repairs, audit and upgrade poles, and install meters. Real-time video transmission and software syncing with back-office systems enriches communication and fine-tunes guidance. When severe weather or a power outage hits, the low latency and high reliability of 5G ensures everyone has up-to-date information at all times. The upshot—less downtime and expense.