As part of an effort to ensure safe and reliable service for local hospitals and major medical facilities, Atlantic City Electric is using drones to inspect equipment.

General engineer Karan Patel said the utility has been using drones since 2018 and plans to continue using them long after the pandemic.

The ability for personnel to not have to traverse difficult areas and not have to enter dense vegetation, marshes and swamps is a major safety factor, said Patel. Workers can stay safely in one location while remote-controlling a drone to get aerial imagery of equipment and power lines.

The aerial imagery provides a different perspective.

Atlantic City Electric Drone Inspection.
Photo Credit: AC Electric

The drones fly above substations, power lines and other equipment to capture detailed videos and photos of the energy grid. The ground patrol station is an iPad connected to a controller.

The goal of using the drones is to find any defects in the power lines and to ensure that the electric system is able to withstand the additional load.

The drones relay about five to 10 high-definition images per utility pole back to the ground patrol station.

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