Unmanned

Introducing SERVICE ELECTRIC Company’s UAV System for Power Line Rope Installation

SERVICE ELECTRIC Company is proud to offer a patent pending process and state-of-the-art equipment for installing ropes in a safer and less intrusive manner than traditional alternatives.

In 2013, SERVICE ELECTRIC Company began exploring the idea of utilizing UAV’s (aka Drones) to pull ropes for the use of power line installations. With technology advancing at rapid paces, the SERVICE ELECTRIC team had many options to explore as well as specialized equipment to manufacture in-house. The process has been tested and proven to be a viable solution for many real-world project applications.

Most of SERVICE ELECTRIC’s current customer base has existing projects or even future project plans that carry an opportunity to use this system to mitigate safety concerns, alleviate environmental hurdles, and even improve public relations.

What We Offer:

Rope Installation – The Safer Way!

Installing ropes prior to the installation of new conductors is a critical part of any new construction on a Transmission or Distribution power line. This task is often accomplished in a variety of ways including pulling ropes across the ground by hand, utilizing a vehicle or ATV to pull ropes between structures, or flying the ropes between structures with the assistance of a helicopter.

Although each of the methods listed above have been proven to be successful, they each carry certain risks and challenges that must be overcome. Pulling ropes by hand can lead to soft tissue injuries (sprains, strains, etc.) and often exposes the employees to hazardous terrains and trip hazards along the rights-of-way. Using vehicles to pull the ropes mitigates some of these hazards, but is often impossible due to terrains or right-of-way constraints. The helicopter method is usually the most effective technique and is generally a very safe practice. Unfortunately, a failure with that operation can often lead to catastrophic results. The aircraft pilot is always at risk of a crash and the surrounding crews are often in the vicinity, meaning they also share some of that risk. While SERVICE ELECTRIC Company has no plans to eliminate helicopter usage, the idea is to utilize the latest technologies to eliminate unnecessary risks while maintaining efficiencies and production.

The Solution:

The SERVICE ELECTRIC Company
Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) System.

Rope Installation – Service Opportunities and Benefits!

Transmission Construction:

Most “new-build” transmission projects require some level of rope installation practices and almost all of those have some sort of obstacle to cross. Quite frequently, those obstacles include: Large valleys in mountainous terrain, lakes or river crossings, and even marsh or wetland areas. All of these can be overcome with an aerial solution such as a helicopter. However, this adds more financial burden and additional safety risk that may not be justified. SERVICE ELECTRIC Company’s Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) system can be the solution for many of these challenges. With current pull length capabilities of +/- 3,000’, this system offers the ability to conquer most obstacles that would be encountered on the right of way.

Distribution Construction:

Although transmission construction often times has the larger spans and therefore the larger obstacles, distribution crews will attest to the frequent challenges they face with rivers, creeks and other waterways. Other common obstacles include customer fences, unoccupied outbuildings, and sensitive areas such as golf courses or parking lots. By using the UAV system, many of these areas can be addressed with little to no impact to the customer. In addition, many residential and commercial areas have noise restrictions that would prevent the helicopter option even if it were feasible. The UAV solution could be the perfect solution in many cases.

About the UAV:

SERVICE ELECTRIC Company has partnered with UAV America to custom design and manufacture a rope-pulling drone based on their Eagle XF Platform. The drone meets or exceeds all FAA requirements and has built-in redundancies for safety.

For more information regarding the capabilities of the Eagle XF Platform, please visit: www.uavamerica.com

About the Tensioner:

Built from sturdy 6061 aluminum alloy, the tensioner has gone through several iterations during the R&D process. The result is the current model with a variety of rope options depending on the need of the project. The “rewind” process has a rope level-wind feature and detachable motor that can be powered with a small, lightweight generator.

Contact:

Should you have any challenges where the SERVICE ELECTRIC Company UAV System can help you meet your project needs, please reach out to:  Alan Fulk, VP – Transmission ([email protected])

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