Last week I was able to experience, first hand, the effect of drones used for inspection on wind turbines. To date, the process for inspection, upkeep and maintenance of wind turbines has been a difficult, labor-intensive ordeal.
The increasing capabilities of drones – flight control, high definition imaging and ability to fly safely in windy environments, have made drones a viable inspection alternative for wind turbine inspection, which traditionally had been accomplished with crews of men climbing the several hundred foot blades affixed with safety ropes.
Safer, Quicker and Less Expensive
Drone inspections are 4 - 6 times faster than traditional climbing crews, roughly an hour to completely inspect all three blades of a turbine using a drone as compared with 4-5 hours per turbine with a roped climbing inspection crew.
Drone inspections typically cost significantly less – oftentimes 50% less expensive - while delivering very comparable inspection results.
Drones provide wind turbine field operations and maintenance personnel the ability to watch a live feed of the inspection from the perspective of the camera on the drone. The “old way” normally had inspection crews climbing, which is inherently dangerous, and noting imperfections and preparing a report to be reviewed several days later. Now, field operations personnel are able to examine the blade close up (from a real time, high resolution image from the drone) and make assessments on the spot. If the drone is flying a turbine blade and a manager identifies an abnormality, immediately the drone operator can provide a more in-depth examination and focus the camera on what caught the manager’s eye.
DroneView Technologies employs highly trained and certified drone operators, with in-depth expertise in wind turbine inspections. Operating throughout the United States, DroneView Technologies is committed to promptly providing wind turbine customers high quality aerial data collection, reporting, and analysis solutions for any enterprise.