Choppers brought in to check power lines

July 10, 2023 9:22 am in by

Energex will spend the next month carry out aerial inspections of it’s electricity network around Caloundra and Maroochydore.

The energy provider will have a helicopter in the sky as it checks for any potential issues.

The chopper patrols will see hundreds of kilometres of the local power grid comprehensively investigated for any damage that may have occurred last summer storm season.

Article continues after this ad

Energex’s Work Group Leader, Ryan Tuivaiti, said the aerial inspections allow crews to investigate any network issues that cannot be seen from the ground in a much faster timeframe.

Damaged power pole spotted from the chopper

“The helicopter patrols allow Energex surveyors to safely and efficiently identify any wear and tear which could become potential risks to the local electricity supply,” Mr Tuivaiti said.

“A birds-eye view of the electricity network allows us to detect deterioration on the topside of poles and identify overgrown vegetation impacting on the network not visible from the ground.

“The information gathered during the inspection process is then forensically examined for faults or damage and then distributed to field crews to carry out required proactive repairs which helps avoid unexpected power interruptions at a later date.

Article continues after this ad

“The helicopter patrols reduce the amount of time to survey an area twice as fast as vehicle patrols on overhead powerlines that follow roads, and up to 20 times quicker on powerlines in mountainous terrain or on private property,” Mr Tuivaiti said.

The airborne work is also supplemented by traditional power network inspections carried out on foot and in vehicles.

Mr Tuivaiti said the nature of these patrols means the helicopters will need to fly at relatively low altitudes and may also need to turn widely or cross properties to follow the powerlines.

“Every attempt will be made to minimise inconvenience to residents and animals, but due to the nature of the inspections residents should consider securing or moving timid animals away from powerline towers,” he said.