For example, transmission lines in the US are often able to maintain large clear cut corridors so the numbers of vegetation grow-in hazards will be very small. For distribution lines, which are much more prevalent, it is impractical to hope to maintain a clear cut and so the number of grow-in and fall-in hazards are more significant. Because of this, different kinds of analyses that assess the volume and likelihood of areas of vegetation hazards are valuable to aid in work management prioritisation.
The consequences of mismanagement of vegetation around transmission and distribution networks are also very different. If a transmission line encounters an electrical fault it could mean an entire city suffers an outage. If a distribution line encounters a fault, it is more likely to mean a street is affected.
Furthermore, the collection and processing of LiDAR data over the two are done very differently. Transmission lines are collected in corridors, and vegetation analysis often accompanies an engineering-grade power line modelling exercise, requiring precise LiDAR classification and high levels of accuracy. Distribution projects are often collected in wide area fashion due to the dispersed layout of the network and typically include much more automation during processing due to the larger volume of data.
“Utilities can be provided with an overwhelming amount of data on infringement and fall hazards all at once.”
Often when utilising a vendor, utilities can be provided with an overwhelming amount of data on infringement and fall hazards all at once and so efficiently actioning this can be incredibly difficult. Some regulations, such as FAC-003 from NERC in the US, stipulate that specific high-risk infringements have a timescale within which they need to be managed. Otherwise utilities expose themselves to regulatory fines. As the vendor, we are expected to collect and process the data with as fast a turn-around as possible to ensure the analytics are still relevant.
At NM Group, we have plenty of experience in providing tree risk information in a clear and directly actionable way to make this as straightforward as possible for utilities. We do not try to know how to best cut a tree in the field. Instead, we help the guys on the ground do their job more efficiently and with as much information as possible!
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