Drone inspection of wind turbine blades
Drone inspection of wind turbines is the newest way to ensure a fast, safe and reliable inspection method is delivered. With the constant growth of renewable wind energy sources throughout the UK, long term maintenance and repair is required.
While a wind farm has turbines stopped, they are loosing money
While the wind turbines are stopped, the wind farm is not producing electricity and therefore not generating an income.
Traditionally wind turbine blade inspections are carried out with a rope access team abseiling down each blade or using elevated access platforms, identifying and logging damage as they go. The rope access technique has worked well for the industry but has proved to be slower than using a UAV / drone to carry out the same inspection.
A drone wind turbine inspection can achieve nine blades inspections per day, this number can increase when inspecting smaller blades. A rope access blade inspection team on average can only examine up to three large blades a day.
More efficient and safer way to inspect wind turbines
Drone wind turbine inspection has proved to be a more efficient way to identify warranty and general condition damage, log the location and size of the damage and report it immediately to the client whilst on site.
Major damage which is noted during the inspections is reported straight away. Following the onsite stage, a detailed review of the images taken is carried out and formal reports are submitted to the client for a decision on the best course of actions for repairs.
All work is carried out by Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved operators who are trained and fully insured for this type of work. They hold the Permission for Aerial Work certificate which is the national standard for commercial UAV / drone operations.
Our teams move around Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland using 4×4 vehicles and have received off road driver training, so gaining access to remote locations is not a difficulty.
Five reasons why to use a drone for wind turbine inspection
- Workers are not endangered whilst working at height
- Wind farm has less down time due to shorter inspections periods increasing production time
- Cheaper than conventional inspection techniques. Approx 3 times cheaper
- Three times faster using a drone to carry out the inspection
- The UAV’s operate within the same weather parameters thats rope access and elevated access platforms work within.
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