Vehicle for Internal Inspection of Substation Transformers

Technology #d-1302

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Joseph Brittain
Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Joseph Kidd
Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Managed By
Cameron Smith
Licensing Associate 806-834-6822
Patent Protection

Provisional Patent Application Filed

Electric power distribution is essential to modern society. With all systems, however, maintenance of the system's components are required. Inspection of some of these components, such as substation transformers, pose severe health and safety risks to the employees required to inspect them.  

This technology visually inspects the inside of these transformers and allows for the operator to determine the condition of the transformer and where maintenance and repair are required. This allows for a remotely-conducted inspection of these components, alleviating health and safety concerns for employees and liability and labor concerns for employer companies. It can reduce costs associated with these risks, such as additional employees and lost time from safety protocols and procedures. 

Reference Number: D-1302 

Market Applications: This technology was primarily developed for the electric power distribution industry for use in inspecting substation transformers. However, this technology can be used to visually inspect other devices in other industries, such as grain silos in agriculture or outer-surface spacecrafts in the aerospace industry. The potential market for this technology is vast and not limited to electric power distribution companies. 

Features, Benefits & Advantages:

  • May prevent risk of bodily harm associated with manually inspecting dangerous enclosures
  • May reduce costs of manually inspecting the inside or outside of such enclosures 

Intellectual Property: A provisional patent application was filed on this technology on September 22, 2016. 

Development Stage: A prototype of the disclosed technology has been built and tested.  


  • Joseph Brittain, Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech University 
  • Joseph Kidd, Department of Electrical Engineering, Texas Tech University 

Keywords: Transformer inspection, internal inspection, visual inspection, transformer health