Electrical Business

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Hydro-Quebec, National Grid sign license agreement for LineScout


October 1, 2014 – Hydro-Quebec and National Grid, a British multinational electricity and gas utility company, have signed a licensing agreement for the LineScout, a robotic device able to inspect high-voltage transmission lines, in which National Grid obtains the right to use the technology on UK territory for ten years.

“Partnerships such as the one we are establishing with National Grid are the cornerstone of our open collaboration approach to technological innovation,” said Serge Montambault, project manager, robotics expertise at Hydro-Quebec.

Developed by Hydro-Quebec’s research institute (IREQ), the remote-controlled robot is intended to improve reliability, inspections and safety, it said. The technology uses cameras to inspect line conditions and discover irregularities, while its navigation system pinpoints locations in need of attention and manoeuvres around obstacles such as splices, hardware components and aviation warning markers.

“Unlike conventional transmission line servicing, the robot can service the lines while they are energized, saving precious company resources while reducing safety risks and downtime,” said Phil Haywood, technology application engineer at National Grid.

The technology will be particularly useful for difficult-to-access locations, including motorway crossings, rivers and housing estates, he added.