Innovative, sustainable move: Dewa starts using drones

Drone undertake topographic surveys, thermal inspection, identify overhead power lines

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) has developed its use of drone technology as part of its Sirb (Arabic for fleet) initiative.

Sirb, launched in 2015, contains a fleet of high-end drones used to support Dubai’s infrastructure and contribute to providing efficient and easy-to-use services. The initiative supports national efforts to use modern technologies to serve humanity.

Dewa has improved its uses of the technology to cover various domains including topographic surveys, improved operational efficiency, thermal inspection, photovoltaic panel maintenance, and early detection, using thermal imaging, to identify overhead power lines.

This limits risks, reduces costs, enables quick-response times and ensures accuracy, making it easier to make informed decisions. The drones use state-of-the-art upgradable technologies such as high-definition cameras that are equipped with night-vision, lasers and GPS sensors, and can measure pressure, height, magnetic fields, and use ultrasound scanning.

“We use drone technology in its Sirb initiative, to improve its operational efficiency, and provide seamless and easy-to-use services according to the highest international standards, to make everyone happier.

This supports the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to position the UAE as an international centre for developing drone technologies and a global hub for civilian drone applications, to enhance the services provided to society,” said Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO, and Dewa.

“We attach great importance to innovation and making use of the latest international technologies to make Dubai the most innovative city in the world. It also supports our efforts to drive innovation and creativity in renewable and clean energy, and water, and its vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility,” added Al Tayer.

The authority uses different types of drones in its Sirb fleet. These range from fixed-wing to multi-rotor drones, which are capable of searching for, and identifying, oil spills and red tide. The drones can collect samples from any location within a 20 km radius.

The initiative improves Dewa’s operational efficiency by accelerating operations, increasing safety during regular network-testing and maintenance, to accurately detecting failures. It also helps to monitor generation, and carry out in-field surveys for development projects.

Dewa presented four of its drones during its participation at the second UAE Drones for Good Award, where it conducted a live demonstration of its Hydro Drone, which is used for water sampling from different locations and depths around the desalination plants. The use of these drones are expected to enhance accuracy and increase efficiency, the drone can stay in the air for 25 minutes and can land on water.

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