WATCH: DJI Drone Transforms Bird Diverter Installations

A M600 Pro, supplied by Heliguy, installed a ‘record number’ of bird diverters on power lines – improving safety and overcoming the challenge of rugged terrain.

Last updated: Feb 26, 2021

6 minute read

  • DJI M600 Pro, supplied by heliguy™, was used as a novel way of installing bird diverters;
  • Using the drone, Carbon 2050 placed the devices along 7.5km of cables in just five days;
  • Thanks to the drone, the job was done quicker, cheaper and safer than alternative methods;
  • heliguy™ praised for having a 'responsive, no pressure sales team'.

A DJI M600 Pro drone, supplied by heliguy™, was used to install a ‘record number’ of bird diverters on a stretch of electricity power lines – improving safety and overcoming the challenge of difficult and rugged terrain in the process.

Cambridge-based Carbon 2050 Ltd utilised the unmanned aircraft to strategically place the devices along 7.5km of transmission cables in Kosovo.

The drone solution is quick, efficient, cost-effective, and enables easy access in rugged terrain. Health and safety risk is also significantly reduced.

Jonathan Say, Carbon 2020

Thanks to the drone, 1,500 diverters were fitted in the space of just five days, resulting in a far more efficient, cost-effective and safe installation compared to alternative methods.

The drone installing the bird diverters.

Jonathan Say, Managing Director at Carbon 2050 Ltd, said: “Traditional installation techniques such as climbing transmission towers and traversing the power line, or using a helicopter, have challenges in terms of cost, health and safety, and difficulty with access.

“But the drone solution is quick, efficient, cost-effective, and enables easy access in rugged terrain.

“Health and safety risk is also significantly reduced. Using a drone does not require any persons to climb to height, or touch the cable with insulated rods, or hang out of the side of a helicopter!

“In fact, the drone installation of bird diverters improves all aspects of the job.”

The DJI M600 Pro with a custom-made carbon fibre dropdown was used to fit the bird diverters.

Carbon 2050 turned to DJI Gold Partner heliguy™ to supply the DJI M600 Pro and provide vital training before the job, which included a thorough product handover.

heliguy™ also offered a free consultation on a payload proposal which would allow the drone to fit the diverters.

I came to heliguy™ because they had kit in stock, have a responsive sales team and offered great advice with no pressure sales.

Jonathan Say, Carbon 2020

In this heliguy™ Insider blog, we take a look at how the drone transformed the installation.

'The Drone Installation Was Particularly Beneficial'

Carbon 2050 Ltd has been manufacturing its CROCFAST bird diverters since 2013.

Although they have been successfully installed around the world – using a range of manual techniques – the feedback from clients was that a reliable and efficient drone installation service was required.

And the benefits of utilising drone technology for this type of work were demonstrated in Kosovo – Carbon 2050’s largest installation of the year.

A closer look at how the DJI M600 Pro helped to install the bird diverters.

Teaming up with Ely Aviation, Carbon 2050 carried out the job on behalf of Air Energy, which has already installed Kosovo’s first wind farm and required bird diverters to help prevent avian collisions along the transmission line, from the wind farm to the local town of Kamenica.

The most susceptible birds to collision are geese, ducks and swans, and birds of prey.

Jonathan said: “The bird diverters were installed at a five-metre spacing along the uppermost earth cable to prevent migrating birds from hitting the power lines.

The drone offered a more cost-effective and safer solution than using alternative methods.

“The drone installation was particularly beneficial for this site because half of the area included steep and forested terrain, making it impossible to traverse on foot or with any access equipment.

“The drone was able to transit these areas easily, and we were able to provide the correct bird diverter spacing with the DJI controller system.

The DJI controller system helped to ensure that the bird diverters were strategically placed.

“It meant that we were able to deploy 7.5km of bird diverters in just five days. That’s 1,500 deployed more efficiently and in a far more eco-friendly way compared to using standard and traditional methods.”

The bird diverters were placed along 7.5km of cables.

During the company’s time in Kosovo, Carbon 2050 Ltd also conducted a drone maintenance survey of one of the wind turbines.

The drone was also used for a wind turbine inspection... a great view of the turbine.

DJI M600 Pro Offers The Perfect Solution

The heavy-duty DJI M600 Pro is a rugged, reliable and stable platform designed for professional aerial photography and industrial applications.

It is built to closely integrate with a host of powerful DJI technologies including the A3 Pro flight controller, Lightbridge 2 HD transmission system, Intelligent Batteries and Battery Management system.

The M600 Pro is a reliable drone, ideal for industrial missions.

Pre-installed arms and antennas reduce time required for setup, and the system’s modular design makes it easy to mount additional modules. The M600 Pro can carry payloads up to 6kg in weight.

The M600 Pro also benefits from a D-RTK GNSS system – ideal for high-precision industrial applications. It is able to withstand strong magnetic interference and provides centimetre-level accuracy in environments with metal structures.

Jonathan said: “The M600 allowed us to safely carry the bird diverters on a carbon fibre dropdown close to the power lines for 20+ minutes.

“We used this system to install a record-breaking 300 bird diverters per day, in difficult and rugged terrain. The D-RTK GNSS system gave us increased accuracy and stable flight around the powerlines. We also utilised a DJI Zenmuse X3 gimbal camera.”

The DJI M600 Pro drone with the carbon-fibre dropdown.

Turning To Drones For Future Operations

Carbon 2050 has two DJI M600 drones (including one with RTK), as well as a DJI Mavic 2 which it shares with a partner company.

Thanks to the benefits and versatility of drones, Carbon 2050 is aiming to expand its UAV operations.

Jonathan said: “We plan to complete several bird diverter installation projects in the future for a range of clients, including mining companies in South America, national parks in Europe and distribution network operators in the UK.

“In the near future we will also be supporting wind farm operators with wind turbine maintenance inspections.

Using a drone to inspect wind turbines gives you a unique view...
...and helps you zoom in on your inspection area.

"The RTK data with centimetre-level accuracy will be input into the photos for accurate locating of stress fractures and turbine blade damage. We will also assist wind farm developers with topographical site surveys at the wind farm design stage.”

heliguy™ Supports Carbon 2050’s Drone Programme

heliguy™ is proud to be a one-stop-shop for drones, providing a comprehensive package supply and support. As one of DJI’s largest and trusted European enterprise channel partners, heliguy™ is recognised as a Gold Partner, certifying that we can provide expert knowledge and services to interested enterprise customers.

Jonathan has taken advantage of this, using heliguy™ to not only purchase his equipment, but to also receive valuable advice and support.

Our technical staff also integrated the camera with the drone and provided an expert handover of the equipment.

heliguy™ provided important advice about drones and power lines.

He said: “Heliguy provided great technical support in terms of specifying the drone equipment and quickly assembling the drone and D-RTK-GNSS setup. They also provided initial training and gave great advice about drone equipment around power lines."

On why he came to heliguy™ and how we helped him, he said:

"I came to heliguy™ because they had kit in stock, have a responsive sales team and offered great advice with no pressure sales.

"Because of this, I would recommend Heliguy. They were very supportive about my project and gave some preliminary design input to the custom carbon fibre dropdown."

To find out how heliguy™ can start, support or scale your enterprise drone programme, send us an email or give us a call.

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