Neoenergia expands augmented reality use for distribution assets maintenance


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Neoenergia adopted as from August, under a pilot project, the augmented reality technology for maintenance and inspection activities in substations and networks of the company's concessionaries  – Coelba (BA), Celpe (PE), Cosern (RN) and Elektro (SP/MS). Tests are performed with glass-like devices equipped with high-resolution cameras, liquid crystal display, Internet connection and having among its features the access to applications via voice command. One of the company's goals is the connection of teams in the field with specialists based on the head offices of these distributors, providing more agility to processes and lower travel costs. The devices have been used since April by the energy transmission area.

The use of technology ensures more efficiency in the maintenance activities of our distribution assets. With the adoption of augmented reality devices, our specialists are able to guide the technician work in real time and wherever they are, with no need to frequent moving throughout the concession area. Thus, we gain in agility and saving resources", says Jader Carneiro, Neoenergia's Networks and Substations Superintendent. 


For the tests within the distribution area, four devices were purchased, one for each distributor. These are headsets equipped with a 16 MP-camera and 0.33-inch liquid crystal display, which, when approaching the eyes, simulates a 7-inch display, larger than a regular cell phone. The equipment operate by voice command and use Android 8 operating system with hands-free interface, and allows downloading of several applications for holding meetings and training sessions.

The two features more used by the Neoenergia's concessionaries are the remote mentoring and the view of documents in PDF format, including electric projects. As the device is attached to the technician's helmet in the field, the professional keeps his hands free, making his work easier. In the native application for reading these files, for example, he can take photos or zoom in by voice command. 

The devices are equipped with three sensors, including a gyroscope, so that the image follows the movement of the user's head. The battery lasts up to ten hours and can be changed without disconnecting the device. 


The devices have been used since April 2020, firstly by the energy transmission area. Initially, the technology was used for testing in the new substations of Sobral (CE), Fernão Dias (SP) and Biguaçu (SC). The model was presented, by videoconference to the representatives of Grupo Iberdrola's companies in countries such as Spain and the United States.

“The tool goes far beyond what was initially forecasted, i.e., to provide a faster and more assertive support from our specialists to our field teams. By using the tool, now we are able to perform maintenance tours, supervise the execution of services, monitor equipment maneuvers, inspect damaged equipment, perform safety inspection, provide training and we are also studying other applications. With the assistance of this device it was possible to maintain the delivery time of one of our works since we were able to provide the imported equipment commissioning during the covid-19 pandemic, as foreign engineers performed the commissioning of the equipment remotely. The devices have many other features, which will continue to be explored by our team", says Carlos Eduardo Begosso, Neoenergia's Transmission Operation and Maintenance superintendent.


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