PLAINS TOWNSHIP-- Traditionally, crews inspect power lines by having a person climb them, some about 100 feet into the air, or sometimes they'll use helicopters. Now, with drones, they hope to check out the lines and make repairs faster.
“It is exciting! And it really kinda goes with the whole, our whole theme of really being on the cutting edge,” said Joe Nixon of PPL Electric.
Each drone is equipped with a camera that allows crews on the ground to get up close to the top of power lines in a matter of seconds. Crews hope the new tool will allow them to better handle power failures.
Bill Hanrahan is a drone operator and said, “Our ability to get out there right after a storm, I think, would benefit the customers as far as reliability, getting broken lines back up, restoring power sooner."
PPL will use the drone in fields like this or neighborhoods to inspect power lines and possibly detect power outages before they even happen.
"We can detect broken insulators, missing hardware, and those things that overtime will probably lead to an outage, said Hanrahan.
Right now, PPL deploys three drones and could add more.