Dewa to deploy robots in power and water network inspections



Dubai will pilot a project that uses robots to inspect power lines, which could save maintenance time as well as money.

The German software company SAP will deploy autonomous robots to inspect remotely the electricity and water network of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa). The project will begin with a high-voltage power tunnel in the emirate, Dewa said yesterday.

Dewa will use virtual reality applications in operations to increase efficiencies, said Saeed Al Tayer, its managing director and chief executive. The use of this technology will result in “faster, safer and more cost-effective” operations.

The robots will carry scanners and sensors while patrolling electricity lines with data then uploaded to SAP’s cloud for analysis. “The main advantage is that there remains no need for full area visual inspection by a human expert, who can do the in-depth qualification from the comfort of the office,” said Manfred Pauli, the director at SAP’s global co-innovation lab. No further details were provided as to time or capital savings.

Robotic technology is being deployed more in this area to catch potential problems that could result in power cuts, which also means a financial loss. A 30-minute power cut in the US can result in an average loss of US$15,709 for medium and large industrial clients, according to consultancy company, Allianz.

Utility use of these applications are growing as emerging countries’ electricity networks expand to serve growing populations. Dewa’s customer base has risen by nearly 12 per cent to 730,000 accounts in the past three years.

Combined with developed nations digitalising operations known as smart grids, overall sales for both drones and robots used in utility grid infrastructure is projected to reach $9.6 billion in 2025, according to research company Renewable Market Watch.

While this is only one segment of SAP’s network, the company’s regional activities have had double-digit growth over the past two years. The company is working with other partners on innovation including Adnoc, Etihad Airways, Aramex and du.

“Channel coverage, or the number of partners [in the Mena region], has increased by 25 per cent especially in oil and gas, utilities, manufacturing, finance, telecommunications, retail and government,” said Tayfun Topkoc, the managing director of SAP UAE.

lgraves@thenational.ae

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Money date nights: Talking about money should be a healthy, ongoing conversation and couples should not wait for something to go wrong. They should set time aside every month to talk about future financial decisions and see the progress they’ve made together towards accomplishing their goals.