A prototype unmanned aerial vehicle (VANT or drone) for the remote monitoring of hydropower plant reservoirs created by CTG Brasil won two important awards at the IXth Congress of Technological Innovation in Electric Energy (CITENEL), which took place from August 2 to August 4 in João Pessoa (State of Paraíba).
Developed by CTG Brasil’s Research and Development (R&D) and Environment and Heritage departments, in partnership with the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and the Foundation for Support and Development for Teaching, Research and Extension (FADEPE), the project was elected the “Best Product on Display” and “Best Technical Work in Research and Development”.
Promoted by the National Electric Energy Agency (ANEEL), CITENEL is the biggest event for energy companies such as CTG Brasil to display their technological innovations. It was the first time that CTG Brasil participated in the event.
A major highlight of the project was the development of a product with domestic technology, making its acquisition and maintenance more economically advantageous for Brazil’s hydropower generators. The drones can facilitate the environmental and asset monitoring of the reservoirs. Among the differentiating aspects of the prototype being developed by CTG Brasil and its partners is the ability to perform landings autonomously, even on moving targets. In addition, this VANT is hybrid (with combustion and electric engines combined) that provides extensive flying time and remarkable load capacity.
“In addition to great pride, receiving this recognition the first time we participate in CITENEL is a confirmation that our R&D projects are on the right track and can benefit the country’s energy sector. As we are developing a product with national content, we will also help encourage other industries”, says Ivan Toyama, CTG Brasil’s real estate deputy manager.
With a budget of R$ 1.6 million, the project is currently being finalized. It is expected that the VANT will begin operating in monitoring activities on the edges of reservoirs from 2018.
CTG Brasil presented three other R&D projects during the event: “Cost-Benefit Evaluation of Socio-Environmental Programs in the Surrounding Areas of Hydro Power Plants”; “Controlling infestations by golden mussels via genetic silencing” and “Development of solar photovoltaic concentrators”.