TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – As chances for severe weather increase, a local power company is trying new ways to make sure people don’t lose electricity.
Evergy is now using drones to help keep the power on. If a power outage happens during a severe storm, drones can provide photos and video of the storm damage to Evergy crews.
The drones can help prevent an outage with flyover inspections, along with spotting problems causing power outages. Typically handling problems like this takes a lot of paperwork and manpower, but Evergy said these drones could get people’s power back on quicker.
“With the drone, we’re able to set it up within five minutes, take it off and do our inspection,” said Mike Kelly, Senior UAS Coordinator. “Depending on how much we’re looking at, it can be done in minutes or you know, versus hours or a full day even.”
Evergy said some of the drones will use thermal imaging to detect hot spots on equipment that can signal a potential failure. They’re also now working to get a waiver to extend how fair its drones can fly with plans to try and go beyond their pilots’ line of sight.