Italian giant employs drone tech. for plant inspection

Enel unveiled the use of drones to support the operation, maintenance and protection of its Torrevaldaliga Nord power plant in Civitavecchia, Rome.

The utility partnered with Israel-based start-ups Convexum and Percepto to develop a platform to operate the drones.

The development of the technology has been done under Enel’s Innovation Hubs, which Enel is operating to connect with local, regional and international start-ups to expand its portfolio of innovative technologies and business models.

Percepto developed the drone which uses sensors and computer vision algorithms to perform automated flight missions and support plant inspection and surveillance activities.

Convexum developed a system which Enel is using from the plant’s operating room to control drones and prevent unauthorised drones from flying over the plant.

Nicola Rossi, head of innovation at Enel’s Global Thermal Generation, said: “Torrevaldaliga Nord is the first power plant in the world to use Convexum and Percepto systems, confirming Enel’s leading role in technological innovation. This cooperation generates positive impacts not only on the overall plant efficiency, but also on our workers, who can now operate the most advanced technologies, acquiring new skills along the way

The initiative is part of the wider digital transformation programme that the Enel Group is carrying out and that also involves the generation assets owned and operated by the company.”

“Today we are seeing the concrete results of the cooperation between Enel and some of the most interesting start-ups at the international level. Enel supports entrepreneurship and technological research all over the world,” said Fabio Tentori, Head of Enel Innovation Hubs.

“This cooperation makes it possible to circulate ideas and integrate them with the needs of our business.”