28 May 2009 15:58 Flights, camera, action: Central Networks takes to the skies to check electricity lines
Central Networks, the electricity distribution company for central England, is carrying out helicopter patrols across the West Midlands next month, doing its own digital detective work as part of its network inspections.
The patrols will be carried out by a helicopter equipped with a high-resolution digital camera which will be used to spot potential hazards and to highlight areas where future work may be needed to pylons and poles on the overhead electricity network.
The quality of the photographs taken is so high that engineers can zoom in to every nut and bolt, without losing any image quality, and the condition of the tower can be assessed with great accuracy.
The flights begin on 1st June and should take until the end of the month.
Jim O'Sullivan, Director of Infrastructure Services at Central Networks, said: "We're responsible for around 48,000km of overhead cabling across the Midlands and using a helicopter patrol is the safest, fastest and most effective way to carry out checks on large sections of the network.
"This new technology aids the work we already do examining our substations and overhead lines. We're able to spot potential hazards early so that we can plan our investment and maintenance work more effectively, and do any necessary work before it causes problems for our customers.
"We pride ourselves on our commitment to our customers, and these patrols form part of our efforts to continually improve the standard of service they receive."
Flights will take place from Monday 1st June over the following areas:
Gloucestershire: Chipping Sodbury to Iron Acton;
Worcestershire: Wardon, Timberdine, and Upton to Bishops Wood;
Shropshire: Leaton to Shrewsbury;
Staffordshire: Rugeley to Stafford South, Penn to Hicksford and Hem Heath to Meaford, .
West Midlands: Hinksford to Woodside,Penn and Dudley;
15th to the 19th June
Buckinghamshire: East Claydon to Brackley and Banbury and to Stony Stratford;
Warwickshire: Coventry, Whitley and Hinckley.
Northamptonshire: Corby to Huntington and Eton Socon;
Leicestershire: Leicester to Wigston and Kibworth to Corby and Hinckley.
22nd - 26th June
Derbyshire: Spondon to Stanton;
Nottinghamshire: West Burton to Retford and Checkerhouse;
Lincolnshire: Lincoln, Boston to Skegness, Stamford, Bourne and Waddington;
Leicestershire: Leicester, Wigston, Kibworth-and Hinckley;
Warwickshire: Coventry and Whitley;
Northamptonshire: Corby, Huntington and Eton Socon;
Staffordshire: Stafford, Rugeley, Hem Heath and Meaford.
Central Networks, which is part of E.ON, carries out helicopter patrols across the East and West Midlands every year.
In addition to the 48,000km of overhead cable Central Networks looks after, the company also owns and operates over 84,000km of underground cabling.
Notes to editors:
- Central Networks brings power to 4.9 million customers across central England through 133,000km of underground and overhead cables and via almost 97,000 substations;
- Central Networks covers an area from the Peak District in the north to parts of Bristol in the south, and from the Welsh Borders to the Lincolnshire Coast.
For further information contact:
Andrew Barrow on 024 7618 3677
A selection of Central Networks pictures is available free of charge to the media by registering at http://www.newscast.co.uk/ and looking under Distribution