A new Canadian grid analytics company based in Waterloo aims to predict power outages using robotics. Chief Technology Officer Anson Maitland told CTV News, “We’re pioneering a new approach that hasn’t been tried before. By using a device like this, we’re reducing the need for workers in hazardous environments.”
As reported by CTV News, Enerza, the world’s first provider of a conditional risk assessment tool to electrical utility providers through autonomous on-wire robotic monitoring, is leading the charge. Enerza’s robotic technology aims to enhance the safety and reliability of power grids, making working conditions on the lines safer and more efficient.
Switching from manual inspections to robotic ones enhances safety by eliminating human error and automating processes. Currently, inspections are primarily done manually, with workers visually inspecting power lines, often in remote areas using ATV trucks. Enerza’s solution incorporates advanced technology to replace human tasks. The robot can fly to the power lines using propellers, utilizing thermal cameras, depth cameras, and stereoscopic cameras to measure distances.
This innovative robot not only detects failing infrastructure but also anticipates future grid issues, such as overgrown branches near electrical lines, preventing potential problems. Moreover, Enerza’s approach is cost-effective and highly efficient. It allows utilities to cover the entire grid, reducing costs by up to 1,220 times and increasing efficiency by at least 200 percent.
Real-time access to grid data through Enerza’s Insight Dashboard further enhances its effectiveness. Enerza’s mission is to achieve a sustainable future with fewer power outages. Grid reliability and resiliency are critical concerns for utilities and the public. Their proactive approach to grid health aims to benefit everyone.
While Enerza is pioneering this technology, it’s worth noting that similar innovations are occurring globally. In 2022, China’s state-owned power grid company introduced an AI system that rapidly resolved power issues, reducing intervention time from hours to seconds.
Multiple sensors with autonomous decision-making capabilities streamlined grid activities, eliminating the need for human intervention. These advancements in power grid technologies contribute to ongoing energy efficiency, ensuring a safer and more comfortable life for all.