Successful drone seminar: «Important to meet others in the same business»

April 17th - 18th, the seminar «Drones in the Power Grid” was held in Halden, with important companies representing more than half of Norway’s power grid present.

“The goal of the seminar was to update the energy sector and power grid companies on how far we have come with regards to technology and to help them understand what is possible to do with it. It is very nice to hear how happy and satisfied they all are, comments Knut H. H. Johansen, CEO of eSmart Systems.

The participants were presented with highly relevant content, covering new technology, communication and artificial intelligence (AI), including an answer to how well-suited drones are for optimizing operation of the power grid.

“Great savings”

Both the regulatory authorities and representatives from the energy industry took the stage to provide input into what challenges and possibilities that exist today.

“I wished to communicate what type of tool artificial intelligence can be for us. The amount we save by getting this operational and utilized as an analyzing tool in the operation center is extremely important to us”, says Geir Elsebutangen, CEO of Kragerø Energi, who was one of the seminar speakers.

“We already see that by flying drones, analyzing flights and finding errors, it is possible to get to the right place at the right time. Instead of unnecessary searching all power masts, we can get to the problem site much faster. This means great savings, and we look forward to getting everything operational, he notes.

Unique meeting arena

The whole value chain was represented, and the conference was an ideal meeting place for networking within the energy industry.

“it is important to meet others in the same business, for example eSmart which makes the systems, to communicate our message and what is important for us. During these gatherings, there is some professional content, but you also have the opportunity to talk to others who work with the same things you do. You create networks, Siri Torgersen Ravndal, another presenter, points out.

She is Department Manager Smart Grid at Lyse Elnett and talked about how the company has utilized drones in their work.

“We have experience with drones and think they will be useful in the future, but it all depends on what kind of services that are delivered, what kind of vendors who enter the market, and what it will cost compared to today’s technology, says Ravndal.

Entering the future

Senior Consultant in ADAPT Consulting, Christian Nærup Børke, also contributed on stage during the seminar. He closely follows the development in the power market, particularly how technology trends can affect the energy sector and increase use of the power grid.

“There is great focus on utilizing new technology, also among the grid companies, which is a business with heavy infrastructure investments. Finding new and smart technology solutions is something both the power grid companies and regulatory authorities are interested in, comment Børke. He adds:

“A lot of technology looks very good on paper, but has not quite matured yet. At the same time, there is technology which works great, but which does not have the right incentives or regulatory conditions. This is what is so exciting about new technology; you can never know what it will look like in five years.