Electricity North west - Power line contract

If you’ve noticed more helicopter activity at low level throughout the North West of England in recent months it could be due to our latest power line contract. Energy giants Electricity North West awarded the contract to us to commence work on the 26th July.

Electricity North West invested in this scheme, which, will allow us to inspect 1,169 miles of pylons and power lines to identify any necessary work before it impacts power supplies to their customers.

“Our vast overhead network which includes 1,169 miles of pylon power lines is often located in rural areas and is impacted by severe weather with wind and rain so this method of checking from the air is a great way of keeping the network in good condition.” Ian Fenton from Electricity North West

Why are power line inspections conducted by air?

Power line inspections via helicopter are a preferred method as the team can swiftly observe each asset on a tower quickly and from a safe working distance. This not only reduces the risks associated with traditional methods via foot patrol but also provides fast reactions to any major faults or anomalies found.

In turn this helps reduce the impact to homes, offices and buildings in those areas, complaints and costs associated. Helicopters are also far safer as the equipment allows lines and towers to be assessed from a safe distance.

In this case the inspections will be carried out by our twin-engine AS355s fitted with our SWE Quad Sensor.

In total it is expected we will survey around 4,000 towers for Electricity North West over the course of the year.

How are surveys conducted?

Our company uses a combination of equipment, this includes a state of the art aerial camera system and bespoke software.

The camera system contains four sensors which can be monitored and controlled from within the aircraft. This includes High Definition Video, still photography, UV corona and Thermal imaging.

Crew onboard can quickly spot anomalies through these four sensors and well as input data directly into our bespoke software. Images of the infrastructural assets along the power lines, towers and substations are taken to document findings by our aerial linesmen.

Once grounded the linesmen will check the images against the annotations from our software and formulate the results for ENW staff, ranking any faults on an agreed system scale.

Why do you conduct the surveys in this way?

Safety is our primary objective when completing these tasks, which is why we have invested in the best equipment to date. Hosting an array of high specification equipment that is unparalleled within the UK and teamed with our young, robust helicopter fleet, we can support projects with superior performance on task.

If you require any more information on our power line surveys or any of the other utility works contact our ops team on 0800 030 4105 or ops@gbhelicopters.com