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KVS Technologies  

Sandnes, 
Norway
http://www.kvstech.no
  • Booth: 2169


Autonomous Power Line Inspections

Founded in 2015, KVS Technologies has developed world-leading autonomous drone technology to execute critical infrastructure inspections in a greener, safer, and more efficient way. We provide all types of services to power transmission and distribution companies, such as power line inspection, tower inspection, ROW inspection, vegetation management, storm restoration, and emergency response. KVS Technologies has conducted over 3,000 BVLOS grid inspections in Europe. We are now launching our services in the US with a part 135-certified domestic partner. The company's goal is to safeguard the integrity of the power grid, bringing a steady and reliable supply of electricity to people all over the world.


 Press Releases

  • Agder Energi Nett has signed new framework agreements with KVS Technologies AS and Visimind AB for aerial photo inspection and laser scanning of their respective areas in Agder. Both companies will use autonomous drones in their work. The new agreements are related to an annual photo-based inspection of up to 45,000 masts in the 22 – 132 kV high voltage power grid in Agder Energi Nett’s concession area. The work will entail scanning, photo documentation, and analysis of 4000km of power lines, as well as the vegetation underneath and alongside the power lines. This forms the basis for Agder Energi Nett’s maintenance and vegetation management strategy for the power lines on their HV power grid. Competition in a new market Agder Energi Nett has previously conducted their annual aerial photo inspections of the power grid and laser scanning of vegetation with helicopters. But in more recent years, the supplier market for data collection in combination with photo and laser data has seen a lot of development. These services can now be offered by automatic drones which can fly BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) based on preprogrammed coordinates. At the same time, drone flights are able to comply with safety and aviation regulations. Agder Energi Nett took several factors into account when they called for tenders for inspection and laser scanning for 2021. The main deliverable in this service is the photos and laser data from the power grid, and it has to satisfy stringent requirements for quality since this is the utility company’s most important tool in planning and executing inspections and maintenance. Agder Energi Nett also prioritises solutions that focus on health, safety, and the environment. Demanding work ‘The framework agreements Agder Energi Nett has entered involve demanding work, and we have set the bar very high for the quality and technical requirements in this tender process. We have asked for photos to be geotagged and linked to Agder Energi Nett’s mast-IDs. They have to be time-stamped for which day and what time they were taken, and be navigable in our map system. Since the job will run from March to September, the photos must be sent to Agder Energi Nett on an ongoing basis,’ says Jan Erik Eldor, CEO of Agder Energi Nett. ‘Aerial photo inspection and laser scanning make up two different parts of the project deliverables. Data from these inspections will form the basis for our annual maintenance work and detailed analysis of the grid’s condition. The analysis of the laser data from the power grid is on the other hand critical in creating a good vegetation management strategy for the forested areas,’ says Jan Erik Eldor. Safe and efficient inspection ‘Agder Energi Nett has previously received R&D funding from NVE for an innovation project that tested the possibility of using drones in the inspection of the power grid. The knowledge we gained from that project has been an important part of our company’s work towards a safer and more environmentally friendly way of inspecting the power grid,’ says Jan Erik Eldor. ‘It’s been exciting to see how the service utilising drones has developed in recent years, and we’re only just at the start of it. Moving forward we need to automate the processing of the enormous amount of data collected, and use artificial intelligence (AI) to ease the manual process of keeping an eye on the inspected infrastructure for future maintenance needs and also reinvestment purposes. Several players are doing this, and Agder Energi Nett wants to be an early adopter of this technology,’ says Jan Erik Eldor. Sustainable solutions In operating and maintaining the power grid, Agder Energi Nett is focused on finding sustainable solutions. One of the things they have done is to use drones for inspection of the power grid, which will contribute to reduce CO2 emissions and noise pollution for wildlife and people living close to power lines, among other things. ‘By offering the contract to KVS Technologies AS and Visimind AB, we have affirmed that the new technology represented by drones is highly competitive. The biggest gains are made in the areas of quality, the environment, and safety. Helicopters will still be utilised for clearing vegetation and emergency preparedness, but this contract along with others will allow us to carry out the best possible maintenance of the power grid,’ concludes Jan Erik Eldor. This press release was originally published in Norwegian on NTB on 15 April 2021.
  • KVS Technologies has successfully completed a drone inspection of Skagerak Nett’s high-voltage power grid in Hjartdal municipality in Telemark, Norway. The entire grid comprising 1206 masts was inspected by fully-electric drones, making it the first time one of Norway’s largest utility companies has used drones to replace helicopters in inspecting a municipality’s entire grid. KVS Technologies performs BVLOS (beyond visual line of sight) flights, which enables efficient operations on a large scale. Skagerak Nett has previously conducted inspections by helicopter or on foot, which are the traditional and most widely-used methods in the industry. ‘We are looking for new and better ways to improve asset inspections. Drone inspection and documentation have many benefits that are superior to traditional helicopter inspections,’ says Morten Gøytil, Skagerak Nett’s Maintenance Manager. KVS Technologies’ drones captured data that was instantaneously available to Skagerak Nett in real-time. This allowed Skagerak Nett to review the data in the same week that the drones inspected the grid. ‘The captured documentation from the drones gave us very good insights to asset health and uncovered faults that needed immediate action. The drones completed the job as fast as helicopters would have done, while providing greater safety for our crew, better documentation, and less noise pollution,’ says Gøytil. Many utility companies already use small drones as a complement to helicopter services, but it is anticipated that autonomous drones will increasingly take center stage. According to Bloomberg NEF, operators will spend US$2.4 billion on software for monitoring, operating, and automating the distribution and transmission grid in 2025. Within software markets for the grid, the fastest growing segment is drones and augmented reality. ‘More and more utility companies are thinking about digitalisation, and Skagerak Nett have taken a forward-thinking approach in adopting drone technology for higher-quality and more reliable data,’ says Håkon Kjerkreit, KVS Technologies’ VP of Services. ‘This is the first time that Skagerak Energi, one of the largest power companies in Norway, has used drones to replace helicopters in the inspection of an entire municipality’s grid. This signalises the scalability and massive potential of drone technology.’

 Products

  • Grid Analytics
    KVS Technologies has developed an efficient and standardized software for asset inspection....

  • Data from the entire power grid is collected, sorted, and matched to the correct mast and metadata in real-time. Customers can use the inspection and reporting tools to review, monitor, and maintain their entire infrastructure. All data is stored securely and in a structured manner on the user-friendly cloud-based portal. By digitizing the grid and building up a database of historical data over time, AI can be used to predict faults before they occur.
  • Digital Grid Inspection
    KVS Technologies offers digital inspections of the power grid that provide actionable insights on all grid parameters....

  • We provide end-to-end drone inspection solutions for transmission and distribution service operators. Services include power line inspection, tower inspection, ROW inspection, vegetation management, storm restoration and emergency response. Contact our exhibit staff at AUVSI Xponential to find out more.

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