The University of Denmark (SDU) has developed a drone that can be directly connected to high-voltage lines for charging

Drones Re-Charge on Power Lines in Denmark | UAS VISION

The University of Denmark (SDU) has announced the development of a drone that can connect directly to high-voltage power lines and charge batteries without having to return to base. This exciting innovation was tested in the middle of Odense, Denmark's third largest city.

The invention was developed within the framework of the Drones4Energy project, itself one of several similar projects aimed at testing the capabilities of aircraft in different areas of life. The self-charging drones in question will be used to inspect Denmark's 7,000-kilometer grid network and provide employees of energy supplier Energinet with greater accuracy, efficiency and safety.

"Now we've shown that we can land on (power) wires and charge directly. That means we can have swarms of autonomous drones place sensors and check wires that humans today have to use lifts and helicopters to disconnect and check. wires," explained SDU researcher Emad Samuel Malki Ebeid.

According to Energinet, drones will be used to inspect and place sensors, which will allow for real-time monitoring of the grid. So far, sensor placement has been laborious, including having to close parts of the lines and have people climb up to place them manually. The result is that there aren't many sensors installed, but with the help of flying gear, that's about to change.

The Drones4Energy project was launched in 2018, followed by a new project called Drones4Safety. In the latter, the focus is on inspecting bridges and railways, but the security drone will also charge its batteries by connecting to a nearby power line.