Electricity Generation & Distribution

Strat Aero have developed specialist expertise to support companies building, operating and maintaining electricity generating assets. We provide a complete “through the life-cycle” portfolio of solutions:

  • Microsite survey before construction to ensure optimal asset siting

  • Inspection/documentation during construction to facilitate the commissioning/hand-over process as assets are installed

  • Post-construction survey to document "as built" state and satisfy regulatory requirements

  • Periodic inspection to isolate potential problems, channel maintenance investment and maximize operational efficiency

  • End of warranty inspection to highlight unresolved issues and supplier liabilities

  • Inspection/documentation to facilitate the due diligence process during asset disposal

The Strat Aero aerial team has developed specific operating procedures for inspecting wind turbines, capturing details not only of the blades themselves but also of the nacelle and tower. UAV systems can complete the inspection task quickly and safely, minimizing the amount of time the turbine system is off-line. The images are then scrutinized by experts and any anomalies are identified and classified before the complete report is uploaded to the Digital Data Manager (DDM).

Aerial IR image of solar panel next to image of turbine blade with fault

Our program for solar panel inspection follows the same approach, with images gathered in both optical and infra-red, geo-tagged and stitched into a single mosaic before being interpreted by subject matter experts.

Customers with conventional generating assets can take advantage of our specialist expertise in internal inspection systems. Strat Aero have custom equipment and processes specifically designed to inspect structures such as boilers and chimney stacks, slashing the time needed to check them for corrosion/lime-scale etc., and removing the need for complex and costly internal scaffolding.

Not only does this get generating systems back on line more quickly, it greatly reduces the need for personnel to work at height and in confined spaces.

Clients can track the progress of the Strat Aero inspection team via the DDM; the Graphical User Interface shows each asset as "Scheduled for Inspection", "Inspected but not Analysed", "Inspected and Analysed with No Findings" or "Inspected and Analysed with Findings", depending on status.

DDM screenshot

By uploading SCADA performance data alongside the asset status reporting, clients have the opportunity to develop a powerful analytical tool to optimize generating efficiency and target maintenance interventions effectively.

And finally, we recognize that these generating assets need to be connected to the electricity distribution grid. Strat Aero have therefore created specific operations/reporting for utility structures, whether wooden or metallic. Our analyst team uses the high quality imagery captured by our UAV systems to spot, scale and classify areas of corrosion as well as other anomalies common to utility systems in general, including

  • Insulator damage

  • Bolted and welded connections

  • General pole conditions

The ability of our Digital Data Manager to easily compare current and prior imagery is particularly helpful in tracking the progress of corrosion.

For wooden poles, we also focus on identifying:

  • Woodpecker and other bird damage

  • Lightning strikes

  • Rot/erosion

as well as the electrical elements of the system.

Images of electrical distribution infrastructure, wooden and metal poles

There is now a strong body of evidence to show that regular pole inspection and remediation can drive very significant increases in mean pole lifespans, possibly as much as 60%. By delivering this data, consistently, cost-effectively and safely, Strat Aero's UAV solutions can make a real difference to distribution network performance.