UKPN trials 360-degree cams to keep lights on

Technology inspired by Google Street View could be used to keep the lights on this winter. UK Power Networks (UKPN) is testing a person-mounted 360-degree camera to take photos during […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

Technology inspired by Google Street View could be used to keep the lights on this winter.

UK Power Networks (UKPN) is testing a person-mounted 360-degree camera to take photos during inspections of remote overhead power lines in the South East and East of England.

The panoramic images will mean engineer patrols on foot only need to be undertaken once, saving significant amounts of time and money.

It also enables other experts who aren’t present on patrols to remotely analyse issues that could potentially cause a power cut, such as lightning damage or general wear and tear.

UKPN has suggested it could even use recent images directly from Google Street View to check up on power lines in more populated locations where power lines are visible from the roadside.

Chino Atako, Senior Engineer at UKPN, said: “The great benefit of this technology is that it gives us access to information that can assist our safety assessments and how we plan work to our network without having to send someone out to site every time.”