History of PIA - Pakistan International Airlines
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 9:20 am 
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Hi,

In North America and Europe, power lines, high voltage ones, are inspected using helicopters. The helicopter are equipped with infrared and UV cameras to detect corona discharges, damages to insulation and vegetation that may be a fire hazard.

I would like to know if there is any such service in Pakistan, specially given that a major reason behind the crises is flaws in our distribution infrastructure.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 11:28 am 
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At present, I don't think power supply companies in Pakistan like Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) use helicopters to test/check long distance high tension power wires, poles etc.. In TV and newspaper ads, I've not seen WAPDA using helicopters. Probably WAPDA will consider introducing helicopters in their inventory to perform high tension power wires maintenance work in future?

Btw, I remember watching a documentary programme on National Geographic or Discovery channel in which they showed small helicopters used by linesmen to inspect long distance high tension power lines in some western country probably it was United States.

The pilot brought chopper very close to wires and a lineman sitting at one of the doors of the chopper used some rod-like equipment to actually touch wires and perform some tests/checks. Small sparks also erupted while those tests/checks.

Abbas

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 8:41 pm 
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We Dont Inspect Power Lines =D>


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Can anyone on the forum gain some insight into the maintenance and inspection of power lines, as well as oil and gas pipelines, is undertaken in Pakistan.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 12:55 am 
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I was once told by someone who knows what he's talking about (or at least should do, given his position in the energy sector) that only 60% of the amount of electricity that could be produced in Pakistan is actually produced. Of this, half is lost to theft or equipment and line inefficiency. Of the amount delivered to the end user, payment is received for approximately 50%. What the heck is left to inspect?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:25 am 
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no need for choppers when you can just walk the line every couple of hours when theres no power running though it

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:47 am 
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They can barely manage to supply electricity to their main cities and hubs and you're talking Helicopters here???

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 3:50 am 
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I understand your pessimism. Indeed we've all suffered enough due to the energy shortage. As far as generation goes, the available capacity is 18k MW currently, mostly from fossil fuel based plants owned by the private sector. Problem is, the corrupt, anti pakistani government, intentionally holds back the funds, as part of their plans to demoralize the people, and hence keep them occupied with problems while they empty the national treasury. In front of the media, its all justified as not having the generation capacity. Also, they don't honor the agreements regarding supply of fuel to the privately owned plants, agreements that were signed under the previous government. That said, lets look to the future, since most of the 342 fuckers are about to either leave the country, or have "shaheed" in front of their names, just a matter of a few months.

Regarding transmission and helicopters, due to the high temperatures, the jackets and casing around the lines can get damaged, thus increasing losses. They can be inspected by a man on the ground, but, in order to properly see the damage, infrared and ultra violet cameras are required. Such cameras and easily be mounted on helicopters, and the helicopter flight paths can be determined via the use of a GIS software that includes the positions of the transmission lines. The whole system, including the analysis, can be automated through the use of a video processing software that will point out all the areas with it picks up a higher amount of infra red activity, i.e. damaged insulation, or a high amount of ultra violet discharge, i.e. corona discharge which could result in arc flashes.

I think its an are worth exploring.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:06 am 
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Abbas Ali wrote:
At present, I don't think power supply companies in Pakistan like Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) use helicopters to test/check long distance high tension power wires, poles etc.. In TV and newspaper ads, I've not seen WAPDA using helicopters. Probably WAPDA will consider introducing helicopters in their inventory to perform high tension power wires maintenance work in future?

Btw, I remember watching a documentary programme on National Geographic or Discovery channel in which they showed small helicopters used by linesmen to inspect long distance high tension power lines in some western country probably it was United States.

The pilot brought chopper very close to wires and a lineman sitting at one of the doors of the chopper used some rod-like equipment to actually touch wires and perform some tests/checks. Small sparks also erupted while those tests/checks.

Abbas


I also remember that documentary that rod was used to form a Faraday cage. But that kind of thing in Pakistan is just risking your linemans life. Only recently a cableman died while he was providing cable to a school in Shadman,Lahore. Abbas Bhai might know about that incident. Also in Pakistan I think they either switch off the current before doing such a thing or else you a cart running on one wire only.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 11:41 am 
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hazad wrote:
...............
Regarding transmission and helicopters, due to the high temperatures, the jackets and casing around the lines can get damaged, thus increasing losses. ..........

High power overhead tx lines have no insulation or casing around the conductor. Alluminium is the most common material used in power transmission.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2009 10:23 pm 
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Abbas Ali wrote:
At present, I don't think power supply companies in Pakistan like Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) use helicopters to test/check long distance high tension power wires, poles etc.. In TV and newspaper ads, I've not seen WAPDA using helicopters. Probably WAPDA will consider introducing helicopters in their inventory to perform high tension power wires maintenance work in future?

Btw, I remember watching a documentary programme on National Geographic or Discovery channel in which they showed small helicopters used by linesmen to inspect long distance high tension power lines in some western country probably it was United States.

The pilot brought chopper very close to wires and a lineman sitting at one of the doors of the chopper used some rod-like equipment to actually touch wires and perform some tests/checks. Small sparks also erupted while those tests/checks.

Abbas


It is routine in Pakistan to repair EHV transmission lines live using Helicopters. Its not rocket science and WAPDA has been doing it for many decades. Most of EHV lines (500KV, 220KV etc) in Pakistan are copper. Aluminum cables are used in distribution systems. Like 11KV and below.

Much of the Pakistan's energy system losses are due to ill-designed distribution system. It was mostly built with USAID funds and thus designed and supervised by USAID. While Americans themselves use single voltage lines to feed rural areas - Americans have been advising rest of the world including WAPDA to lay three phase systems for rural electrification - thus, multiplying the transformer and line losses by three. Rural areas load is small enough that it can be fed using a single conductor and single phase transformers.

Yes, there is revenue pilferage and electricity theft but I am talking about distribution system line losses itself.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2009 7:56 am 
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Well Wapda and the Government first need to put a stop to power theft and once money is available to improve its balance sheets then they can dream about a chopper for the power line inspection roles.

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