Powerline Sentry (PLS) of Wellington, Colorado has designed and manufactured industry leading wildlife mitigation products for over 20 years. Their Bird Flight Diverters are designed to deter birds from striking power lines in flight. These diverters are installed directly on power lines and the major cost isn’t the diverter itself but the human risk and cost that occurs during installation – lineman hanging out of helicopters installing one BFD at a time. PLS and FulcrumAir teamed up to come up with a much better solution – see the video below for a side by side comparison of old vs new. In addition to bird flight diverters, Powerline Sentry manufactures a complete line of other industry leading wildlife mitigation products solutions for the electrical utilities.
Bird Flight Diverters
It is estimated that between 8 and 57 million birds are killed by collision with powerlines annually in the USA, especially by power lines located in areas frequented by susceptible species (e.g. waterfowl and water birds). BFDs have been designed to provide for maximum visibility for birds flying towards, above, or below the overhead wire. The majority of these collisions are believed to occur on the static or earth wire because they are thinner in diameter than the conductor and can be difficult to see in certain light conditions. Yellow prism tape on the BFD reflects the visual light spectrum and 24-hour glow tape enables visibility at night. PLS Bird Flight Diverters are also ideal for contrast in low lighting. Tested for use on shield wire, OPGW, guy wire, and energized conductor (up to 240 kV), they can withstand 100 mph winds (160 KM) for sustained periods and have a life span up to 20 years.
The LineFly is a fully autonomous robot that when placed on the overhead wire by the E7500 begins the automatic process of quickly installing 24 BFD’s. This all happens in the most safe and efficient manner possible and in a matter of minutes; no one is within 100 meters of the operation. The BFD can be placed at any spacing desired by the customer, to an accuracy of up to 2 inches (5 cm) between each BFD. The common spacing is 15 feet (4.5 meters). This accurate placing can save considerable money over a larger project.
For smaller “one off” installs where a small number of BFD’s are required, for example the LineFly installs 24 BFD’s on a span, and 26 are required, FulcrumAir has a smaller drone that can quickly install the remaining 2.
|Capacity||24 BFD at a time|
|Spacing of BD||Anything, customer choice|
Accurate placement to 2 cm
|Max. Slope of Wire:||25 degrees|
|Speed to Install 24 Diverters|
|→ When already on the line:||4 to 5 minutes|
|→ When from the Ground:||12 to 15 minutes|
|Target Install Rate (perfect conditions)||545/day|
|Wire Diameter||3/8″ to 7/16″|
|Bird Diverters||Powerline Sentry BFD 050|
|Weather Conditions||-10°C to +28°C|
No rain, Max wind gusts up to 15 knots
|Regulatory||Transport Canada – Approval Received|
FAA Approval – In Process (United States)
side by side comparison VIDEO – LINEFLY vs. HELICOPTER
This video shows a comparison of a traditional helicopter line marker install versus the FulcrumAir LineFly robotic installation method.