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By Ryan Pickrell
A Chinese power company has taken an innovative and extreme approach to managing stray trash piling up on power lines.
Plastic bags, wish lanterns, and kites have a bad habit of getting tangled in the power lines, Chinese media reports. The state-owned Xiangyang Electrical Power Company in Hubei Province tested an aerial drone equipped with a flamethrower to address the growing problem.
The fire burns the trash on the line without incinerating the line itself, which are aluminium conductor steel-reinforced cables. The drone can obliterate garbage in a matter of seconds.
When trash builds up on the power lines, outages occur. In the past, workers would have to climb up the poles to remove the trash, but it was not always effective, as the garbage was sometimes out of reach. While a unmanned aerial vehicle spraying fire sounds dangerous, it’s probably safer than trying to pull trash off the line 30 feet off the ground.
Other methods for trash removal that China is looking into are high-powered laser cannons.
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