911: Drones Help Restore the Power in Puerto Rico

Drones Are Helping Restore Power in Puerto Rico

Drones can locate downed power lines and fix them more easily than people.

It’s been over 160 days considering that Puerto Rico lost power throughout Hurricane Maria, and many parts of the island are still left in the dark. By far most extended blackout in U.S. history, many individuals are developing creative options to fix it, and Duke Energy, a North Carolina-based energy business, is using commercial drones to restore the island’s energy facilities.

A Duke Energy Zoe drone in Puerto Rico.

Because mid-January, Duke Energy with its 200 volunteers have been clearing fallen power lines and building new routes across the island. Fixing fallen power lines is difficult for people to do, specifically in Puerto Rico. Very first workers have to locate downed wires, which can be difficult among the debris, fallen trees, and undergrowth. In Puerto Rico, that can likewise include hiking through forests, over mountains, and through the endless hard terrain.

Once workers find downed lines they have to string them across the utility poles, which includes attaching weights to those lines and shooting them hundreds of feet in the air.

This, likewise, is not an easy job. Fortunately, the entire process becomes a lot easier when utilizing drones.

For the past couple of months, employees have been utilizing five AceCore’s Zoe quadcopters to locate fallen power lines across Puerto Rico and to help fix those lines once they’re found.

These Zoe drones– which can bring 26 lbs, fly for 40 minutes, and cost around $15,000 each– can identify fallen lines and thread those lines through the poles, saving volunteers lots of time and money.

For the next numerous months, Duke Energy volunteers– and their drones– will continue dealing with getting Puerto Rico’s infrastructure up and running. That infrastructure is going to be vital as soon as summer, and hotter temperature levels get here. Sadly, it’s unlikely they’ll fix all of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, even with their convenient drone sidekicks.

Source: Duke Energy via Wired