MANILA, Philippines — The National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP) continues to modernize its power transmission operations as it further expands its use of helicopters and drone technology to conduct inspections.
The company has equipped three of its helicopters with high-definition photo and video cameras with gimbal stabilizers, infrared scanning and UV detection equipment to monitor, inspect and evaluate the condition of transmission lines and equipment, particularly those inaccessible due to terrain and environmental restrictions.
“With these helicopters, NGCP can assess and immediately identify and deploy personnel and equipment. This is especially crucial during emergency power restoration activities after typhoons, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other natural or man-made calamities,” it added.
In addition, NCGP is looking to expand the use of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) or drone technology as it eyes to procure 45 units.
“With its high-definition photo and video capabilities, transmission line inspections are efficiently completed within a shorter amount of time, in contrast to the previous practice of climbing transmission towers,”NGCP said.
NGCP began using the drone technology last year and has three units in use.
It added it would continue to roll out the use of drones around the country in the coming years.
Meanwhile, NGCP is also preparing to introduce a Central Control and Monitoring System (CCMS) to remotely operate its substations.
“The system will comprise of real-time monitoring software and hardware which will be used for the acquisition, collection, monitoring, and analysis of power data and equipment condition,”NGCP said.
The CCMS will allow NGCP to pilot unmanned substations, effectively improving the operational performance of its facilities and provide greater flexibility for expansion.
In addition, NGCP said its substations are also equipped with anti-flooding and fire blocking systems.
The company reported that critical facilities such as the high voltage direct current (HVDC) buildings in Ormoc and Naga, which connect the Luzon and Visayas grids, were also refurbished to make them more resilient and to protect them against possible damage brought about by typhoons and other natural and man-made calamities.
“One of NGCP’s goals is to bring the Philippine power grid to a world-class status in terms of operational resiliency while employing the latest technological advancements,” the company said.
“We are also equipping our personnel with the necessary skills and tools to efficiently use and operate these new technologies to provide the country with quality, reliable, and sustainable power transmission services,” it added.
NGCP is a Filipino-led, privately owned company in charge of operating, maintaining and developing the country’s power grid.