Impact on the environment
Além dos efeitos ambientais definidos em sentido estrito – poluição e contaminação, eficiência no uso de materiais e energia – Albatroz Engenharia analisa a sua actividade como parte de um ecossistema complexo que envolve o meio físico, a flora, a fauna e as pessoas.
Besides the environmental effects defined in the strict sense – pollution and contamination, efficient use of materials and energy – Albatroz Engineering analyzes its activity as part of a complex ecosystem that surrounds the physical environment, flora, fauna and people.
All economic activity should be shaped so as to balance the needs and desires of customers, employees and investors.
But beyond the direct economic impact on the people who interact with the company, it must consider the impact on the environment, it is possible to affect ecosystems that have no direct relationship with the company. Internalize this impact on the analysis and design solutions is a cornerstone of the Albatroz Engineering sustainability policy.
An example of this approach lies in the way it was meant to inspection airlines. The problem is reduced to the question:
How best to inspect overhead power lines?
Solution 0 is to do nothing, i.e. do not inspect the aerial power lines and search for the fault locations only after they have occurred.
This is an unacceptable solution for both economic and environmental protection reasons.
Systematic preventive maintenance inspections are performed in order to eliminate the reactive nature of Solution 0.
Solution 1 is to inspect the lines on foot, relying on 1 or more technicians to transport the detection equipment.
This solution implies a substantial investment in human resources in order to effectively inspect every kilometre of electrical power lines using numerous inspection with limited inspection ranges.
On the other hand, the human scale of the inspections has a minimal effect on the ecosystem
These types of inspections are treacherous. Inspectors must be in good physical condition for there is risk of bodily harm when crossing forests, marshes and other natural obstacles. Some obstacles may pose too great a risk and different, most times longer routes must be taken.
Under specific conditions, this is most effective method of inspection and is still used today.
Solution 2 consists of inspecting power lines using an all terrain vehicle (ATV).
Solution 2 is the preferred solution in various countries around the world due to the small size of the electrical grid, inexperience with power line inspection or lack of funds to execute a large scale, extensive that can be depreciated over time.
A vehicle increases comfort during inspection and increases the range of each inspection. However there is a detrimental factor to the environment in the gas emissions from internal combustion engines.
The final solution considered, Solution 3, consists in performing inspections using airborne technologies.
Despite the elevated costs associated with performing airborne inspections, the speed and mobility inherent in airborne vehicles increase productivity dramatically. Conservatively, the extension of line inspected through aerial means compared to terrestrial means is increased by a minimum factor of 5 in the same time period.
Aerial inspections enhance detection capabilities which can result in higher service quality.
Aerial inspections call for specialized inspection equipment and procedures. Consequently, different types of inspections by several technicians have to be performed over several flights. This situation results in greater inspection costs and compatibility issues with different types of data and data storage.
Ecosystem impact consists of pollution from fossil fuel combustion and severe local noise pollution. However, these effects are quickly dissipated without permanently damaging the ecosystem. Clearly, long term effects on the global ecosystem due to gaseous combustion engine emissions has drawn significant attention and sparked a worldwide debate.
Upon analysis of the tables above, Albatroz Engineering and its associated partners have come to the conclusion that from an economic and environmental point of view, Solution 3 is the most appropriate solution in extensive electrical grids.
Solution 3 is the most competitive solution for electrical grids with an area greater than 2000 km as long as flight logistics do not inhibit the efficient use of an aircraft over such an area. In locations where aerial inspections are not possible (e.g. vicinity of airports) it is always possible to perform ground inspections as outlined in Solutions 0-2.
In order to maximize benefits and overcome the challenges of airborne inspections, an innovative solution was designed and proposed with the key characteristics: integration, consistency, real time, flexibility.
Furthermore, the proposed solution accelerates report generation turnaround and enriches the report contents with multimedia components.
Finally, there is one more challenge to overcome: how to increase the required inspection distance from the power line in order to reduce flight risks.
Em paralelo, foi desenvolvida uma solução de inspecção terrestre para responder às necessidades dos operadores cujo ponto óptimo de operação se encontre na Solução 2.
Além disso, as soluções propostas também acelera o tempo de produção de relatórios e enriquece-os com conteúdos multimédia, o que facilita a interpretação do estado dos equipamentos e reduz a necessidade das equipas de manutenção se deslocarem pelo solo até aos pontos de interesse nas linhas.
Resta um desafio importante: como aumentar a distância de inspecção às linhas e ao solo para limitar ainda mais o risco aeronáutico.
Environment advantages of PLMI:
Multiple inspection integration
Increases inspected area with constant flight and pollution costs.
Consistency and completeness
Integration of several different types of inspections permits a better description of the power line status.
Adaptability to both ground and aerial vehicles.
Possibility of inspecting every kilometer of line regardless of location.
The real time feature is fundamental in alerting maintenance crews of critical faults along the line.