Powering a Texas Utility with Analytics
Like many utility companies, New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) was concerned with vegetation encroachment on power lines. Through the use of drone technology, they are able to capture infrared video footage of the foliage.
While NBU knows the latitude and longitude of each pole, along with the distance between poles, it needs to more accurately estimate, prioritize, and pay for foliage clearing based on actual distance of foliage cover.
NBU also wants to identify the types of foliage growing around power lines to differentiate amongst the growth rates and plan for trimming accordingly.
An Innovative Approach
RedMane is helping NBU develop an analytics system to analyze successive video frames to determine how much foliage exists within a pre-determined distance of the power lines, tag the type of foliage, and calculate percentages and distances.
The work involves the design, evaluation, selection and implementation of a big data analytics platform to drive the system. The platform includes a data lake, data warehouse, data integration, data quality and cleansing, data governance, and analysis and visualization.
Once the platform is in place, the next step is to broaden the use of analytics to support other drone efforts, including to proactively identify and address problems with lines, towers, and other field equipment.
NBU also has plans for analytics in other aspects of the business to help drive down costs and further improve service.
Creation of dynamic, automated, executive and operational dashboards with predictive and prescriptive analytics, as well as machine learning models, is a key roadmap item.