Contracting Capabilities

Northpower provides contracting services across the North Island including engineering, infrastructure management and maintenance and construction.

Inspection solutions

Accurate and reliable defect data for electricity networks

Northpower’s acoustic inspection services have been deployed on over 500,000 structures, over 40,000 sub-transmission poles and conductors and equipment on electricity networks in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

We’ve located over 10,000 defects with the potential to impact network reliability, security and safety.

Developed by UIT Networks in Korea, Ultrasonic Inspection technology has been successfully used by KEPCO in Korea, with the collection of 15 million data points over nine years.
With close to 95% of the national network surveyed annually, pre-emptive rectification of the defects found has improved KEPCO’s SAIDI by 42%.

How our acoustic inspection service works

We specialise in the inspection of distribution, sub-transmission and transmission overhead networks, substations and ground mounted equipment.

Our directional ultrasonic detector precisely analyses an acoustic signal from each network asset.

We provide detailed planning including health and safety, risk and hazard identification, general survey and close inspection planning, network/fault data, network access and logistics (including landowner permission).

Key features

  • Accuracy – we can pinpoint locations of electrical discharge and defects up to 18 months before becoming visually evident
  • Reliability – identifying and prioritising defects enables asset owners to manage condition-based risks
  • SAIDI benefits – SAIDI reductions result in operational savings and improved public safety – including reducing customer outages and highlighting potential bush fire risks
  • Innovation – state-of-the-art defect detection across electricity network assets
  • Speed – our acoustic inspection services are 10 x faster than traditional inspection services
  • Rapid problem solving – quickly identifies root causes of intermittent faults on problematic network sections


Our acoustic inspection services are up to 10 x faster than other methods, checking up to:

  • 300 distribution poles/structures per day
  • 30 –50 transmission towers per day (access dependant)
  • 2 – 4 substations per day (size and distance dependant)
  • 30 ground mounted assets per day (access dependant)

Ground-based survey

Our drive-by inspections service (urban and rural) uses a state-of-the-art directional ultrasonic detector.

In areas with restricted vehicle access, inspection can be done on foot. We can also utilise a helicopter where site access is extremely difficult.

Identification of defects

Our specialist engineers are trained in the identification of ultrasonic defect signatures.

Once detected, triangulation techniques are used to pinpoint the defect location and high-resolution images and data are captured for analysis.

Diagnostics and reporting

Once field information is gathered, our experienced engineering team review the defect data determining the issues and offer potential solutions.

Forensic analysis and diagnosis allow for defect classification and prioritisation according to our customers’ network standards.

Thermal drive-by inspection services

This game-changing service can detect and accurately locate any type of thermal signatures and irregularities at 30km/h, 10x faster than traditional inspection services.

  • Accuracy – Northpower’s Thermal Drive-by Inspection services can accurately detect electrical equipment in distress, in advance of them ultimately failing.
  • Reliability – identification of defects using state-of-the-art software algorithms in conjunction with artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically analyse and find patterns in the thermal data collected from our drive-by service.
  • Benefits – SAIDI reductions resulting in operational savings and improved public safety – including a reduction of potential fire risk and customer outages.
  • Capability – the thermal drive-by approach, resolves the safety risks of conventional methods, as the engineer stays within the vehicle and reduces the diagnosis time compared to manual diagnosis. It allows the operator to perform expert-level diagnosis and safely.
  • Speed – our Thermal Drive-by Inspection technology runs at 10 x the speed of traditional methods.

What are thermal drive-by inspections?

Northpower’s Thermal Drive-by Inspection services utilise technology developed by KEPCO in Korea. This game changing technology uses a state-of-the-art vehicular mounted robotic thermal camera, in parallel with artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically analyse and find patterns in the thermal data collected.

Northpower’s engineers can perform this service along road-side overhead networks at a speed of approximately 30km/h, with accurate detection of all thermal (IR) issues. When a thermal issue is detected, the system captures all relevant defect data (thermal data, visual image, GPS data, date/time).

A comprehensive detailed extraction report and individual analysis reports are generated automatically. Furthermore, we utilise GPS, to display the diagnosis route on the map and colour codes equipment on the map depending on their condition. Automatic software analysis using artificial intelligent (AI) technology performs detailed analysis of the field data.