How Will Drones Assist in Maintaining Power & Utilities Networks?

The potential of drones to assist in maintaining power & utilities networks is potentially unlimited.
Published: Tue 20 Mar 2018
A blog entry by Jeremiah Karpowicz

Contributed by:

Jeremiah Karpowicz
Diversified Communications

Jeremiah Karpowicz's Blog

Some forecasts have predicted that by 2020, 50% of all electricity transmission and distribution utilities will be using drones to evaluate service lines. This will enable a reduction of asset and inspection costs to achieve savings of up to 30% for these respective tasks (source IDC Energy Insights)

The potential of drones to assist in maintaining power & utilities networks is potentially unlimited. UAVs are making inspections cheaper, faster and safer in definable ways. Additionally, predictive maintenance is also of great importance since it will minimize network failures and damage.

These are just a few of the reasons that the upcoming Commercial UAV Expo Europe ( event is so notable. Taking place for the second time in Europe from 10-12 April at RAI Amsterdam, the event will organise two dedicated conference tracks for the Energy Industry as well as the Energy Industry Boardroom Roundtable for utility professionals/asset owners to attend upon invitation only).

Energy Conference Tracks - Case Study Sessions Programme (April 12, 11.00- 12.30 and 16.00 – 17.30)
During the two energy tracks, utility experts will present their (trial) project experiences of successful use of drones for inspection and maintenance.

The sessions will provide a great opportunity for utilities to share their (pilot)project experiences and get insights into challenges such as:
- Possible electromagnetic fields interfering with UAV
- Camera/picture quality problems
- Waypoint inaccuracy
- Complicated/restricted legislation
- Economic use of drones
- Weather limitations
- Data processing for diagnosis and decision
- Etc.

Confirmed speakers of the energy tracks include:
• Paul Zachoval, Operations Coordinator, Austrian Power Grid, Austria
• Michael Wilkinson, Global Segment Leader, Energy Data Analytics, DNV GL, UK
• Marc Eykmans, Knowledge, Innovation & Digital Manager, ENGIE Generation Europe, Belgium
• Phevos Skalidis, Research Manager – Energy Insights, IDC Energy Insights, Italy
• Kevin O'Donovan, Technology Evangelist, France
• Pieter Franken, CEO, Skeye, The Netherlands
• Thomas Negård, Senior Engineer, Statnett, Norway
• Distributie Energie Oltenia, confirmed, speaker to be announced, Romania

See latest programme details:

Energy Industry Boardroom Roundtable (April 12, 14.00 – 15.30)
Executives from energy & utility companies are invited to participate in this Boardroom Roundtable that will address challenges in use of UAVs, including experiences with various types of sensors and airframes, integration with data from disparate systems, deliverables and formats, enterprise synchronization data security and more. Participation will be by invitation only, comprised strictly of representatives from asset owner firms, and limited to 18 participants.

Qualifying Boardroom Roundtable participants will also be granted complimentary registration to the conference. If you wish to be considered, please provide your contact information via this link:

For 10% off the registration price, use the discount code, ENGERATI.

Commercial UAV Expo Europe is the only pan-European event for commercial drone professionals. Following the successful Commercial UAV Expo Americas event in 2016, which had 1,720 attendees, the European event launched in Brussels in June 2017 with more than 500 attendees from 46 countries and solutions providers filling 55 stands with the newest airframes, components, software and services. The most recent edition of the Commercial UAV Expo Americas event had over 2,000 attendees. On the exhibition floor, leading vendors will showcase cutting-edge airframes, components, software and services, all focused on industrial applications.

For further information and registration details, please visit the website: