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Leveraging Vehicle-Mounted Cameras to Flag Idle Transformers: A Solution for Utilities Amidst Supply Chain Shortages

Vehicle-mounted smart cameras can easily flag idle transformers with proprietary AI models and high-resolution imagery.

In today's rapidly evolving world, where demand for electricity continues to surge, the efficient management of electrical grids is paramount. Utilities face a multitude of challenges, ranging from meeting growing energy demands to ensuring infrastructure resilience. One particular issue that has gained significance recently is the identification of idle transformers within the electrical. In this post, we explore the importance of finding these transformers and discuss how Noteworthy AI's vehicle-mounted camera system offers a promising solution to aid utilities in this crucial task.

The Importance of Finding Idle Transformers

Transformers play a pivotal role in the distribution of electrical power. These devices, responsible for stepping voltage levels up or down, are vital components within utility networks. With the recent supply chain shortage making it more difficult for utilities to procure new transformers, utilities must maximize the use of existing assets. Identifying idle transformers becomes crucial in optimizing resources, reducing energy waste, and minimizing strain on the power grid. By efficiently locating these transformers, utilities can enhance grid reliability, lower operational expenses, and pave the way for a more sustainable energy future.

Due to supply chain issues, utilities need to be able to identify and retrieve idle transformers to be repurposed elsewhere.

Noteworthy AI's Solution: Asset Inspection-in-a-Box

Noteworthy AI provides a unique, “inspection-in-a-box” solution that uses AI-powered cameras to perform distribution asset inspections. Our camera system, Inspect, easily mounts on standard fleet vehicles and automatically turns on and off with the vehicle. As the vehicle drives as part of routine operations, these cameras are detecting distribution assets, geolocating them, and capturing high-resolution imagery of each. 

Once this imagery is captured, it is uploaded to the cloud where it is analyzed using Noteworthy’s proprietary machine learning models. These models are able to detect transformers, open cutouts and other asset characteristics, which, when found in certain combinations on a single pole, indicate an idle transformer. This information is tied to a set of geolocation coordinates which then helps inform retrieval efforts for the transformers in question. 

By integrating this solution into regular operations, which can help reduce O&M costs, utilities gain a powerful tool that proactively works in the background to identify idle transformers without having to send in dedicated crews for inspection efforts or extrapolate based on outdated information. 


With the current supply chain shortage amplifying the need to optimize existing infrastructure, Noteworthy AI's vehicle-mounted camera system is an attractive solution. Inspect harnesses accurate geolocation, imagery capture, and AI algorithms to help utilities proactively detect and retrieve idle transformers. Not only this, but the solution can be extended to other grid intelligence use cases such as asset inventory, NESC clearance measurements, double poles, broken crossarms and more. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how Noteworthy can cost-effectively help you identify idle transformers, drop us a line here!

Juliet Su

Director, Product Management

Juliet has spend the past 7 years designing and managing technology products, and is responsible for planning and managing the product development process at Noteworthy.

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