According to several studies in the wind energy sector, wind energy is expected to be one of the largest sources of electricity production worldwide by 2025, and wind farm operators are striving to optimize their performance by using drone technology solutions for wind inspections.
Today, various drone solutions have facilitated the inspection processes of wind turbines, proving to be very efficient compared to traditional methods that still require a set of conventional types of interventions such as rope access, bucket truck, helicopter rental etc. At present, drones have taken on a multitude of different tasks thanks to their ability to carry out inspection missions with complete precision, and even more so when equipped with multispectral or thermographic cameras or a combination of both types for outstanding results.
Wind turbines are considered vulnerable to extreme weather conditions (hail, strong winds…), hence the need to regularly inspect these wind turbines. It is in this sense that drones have made it possible to make detection and control operations more fluid by generating accurate data on the condition of wind turbines such as inspections of the components of the tower of a wind turbine (Foundation, Bridles, Nacelles, Leaks, Cracks …), inspections of wind turbine blades and management of wind farms with precision, speed and safety.
The use of drones in the field of wind inspection is a future that is coming soon, it can only be translated by the presence of several new assets to the service of efficient wind inspections wherever it is the location of wind turbines, in the Onshore or in the Offshore:
- Dramatically reduce risks associated with hard-to-reach areas and hazards related to high altitude operations.
- Reduce downtime by detecting blade damage and using IR imaging to identify wear on bearings, gimbals, couplings and brakes…
- Provide geo-location information in a very short time to allow quick and easy location of areas in need of repair.
- Continuously record and monitor the existing situation to facilitate decisions about repairs and preventive maintenance…
- Inspect in a more concise way the different types of anomalies and propose immediate recommendations.