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Percepto’s anomaly detection empowers utilities to prevent outages – every time

By September 22, 2021 September 23rd, 2021 No Comments

Percepto’s anomaly detection is an essential tool for utility companies in their battle to maintain regular operations and minimize the downtime of a power grid. It enables companies of all sizes – utility companies that are responsible for keeping the power on for millions of customers to individual companies that manage their own power grid – to inspect their sites effectively and proactively. The regular inspections empower anomaly detection resulting in continual operations.

Our solution, which utilizes our AI change detection algorithm, is the only one in the industry for electrical utilities. It is the key to optimizing situational awareness, effective operations and maintenance as it serves as a flawless indicator of faults or defects. 

Consider these examples: 

  1. Is the temperature on that insulator, fuse, or lightning arrester out of range? While some temperature variation is acceptable, significant swings indicate a problem and anomaly detection will flag this.
  2. Is there a crack in the electric pole? Over time, small cracks grow into bigger cracks that require attention. Anomaly detection will allow for the study of the pole leading to rectifying the issue before it impacts service.
  3. Is a branch encroaching on the clearance area? Is it verging on potentially interfering with service? Anomaly detection can spot this and help maintenance determine the severity of the issue.

So, frequently inspecting power lines with autonomous drones with change detection allows companies to detect minor faults before they lead to outages and prevent failures from occurring.

But what happens when the inevitable weather event strikes and failures occur? Anomaly detection helps pinpoint exactly where failures occurred, making it a great asset to maintenance crews and engineers. It helps them to:

  1. Stay safe – they can safely remain indoors while the drone performs inspections. 
  2. Save time – they don’t have to walk or drive around the entire grid because they know exactly where to go.
  3. Get the power back up faster – they know what tools or equipment they need to quickly perform repairs. 

How Percepto’s anomaly detection solution works

Percepto’s autonomous drones collect good high-quality data on a regular basis. Companies have the drone on-site and can use it to collect data daily. In addition, an automated drone can go at the same time of day and take the same exact route. So, the pictures and data are from the same angle and height. These two elements provide consistent, repetitive high-quality data, the key to anomaly detection.

The data collected by Percepto’s autonomous drones is automatically uploaded to AI-powered software. Companies can buy (or lease) the software. Either way, it’s a time saver.

With the powerful change detection algorithm and consistent data, any change can be detected. However, the analysis is conducted only on those areas where anomalies matter, ignoring measurements in surrounding areas that are not only irrelevant but might provide misleading data. Plus, anomaly detection compares the temperature measured in each component to those surrounding it, predefined thresholds of low/high temperatures or historical data, anomalies will be automatically detected.

Only relevant changes are flagged. This is because the change detection in our technology detects new issues and separates them from known issues as well as irrelevant noises (shadows, changing light conditions, etc.). Lastly, the object is GPS tagged for immediate location identification, allowing precise and swift action.

Anomaly detection in the field – saving lives and keeping communities safe

Our fully autonomous drones, with anomaly detection, allow for remote inspection of power lines and transmission towers. This makes inspections safer, better, and faster.

Here are some examples of the technology working side by side with engineers and technicians to keep them safe and prepared.

A large American utility company that serves over 10 million people and has 119,000 km of transmission lines uses our technology for initial assessments rather than putting employees at risk. They also use it because it’s faster and can spot issues in areas that humans can’t get to.

A second client that maintains their own private power grid notes the technology enables them to monitor and secure their site efficiently and safely.

Percepto’s autonomous data collection and anomaly detection are the ingredients needed for optimal power grid inspection. These unique abilities allow utility companies to keep the power on and get it back up quickly when storms hit. 

Udi Zohar, VP Product

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