Wind turbines consist of mechanical parts and huge turbine blades that are prone to wear and tear. Bird strikes and lightning strikes often leave behind small cracks and undetectable damage to the human eye. Using the rope access method of inspecting blades from hundreds of feet above ground is a hazardous task, time-consuming and inefficient.
The inception of Drone Technology in the commercial domain has revolutionized industries and their data acquisition techniques. The wind industry has favorably employed UAVs on-site for magnified monitoring and surveillance. Drones coupled with AI and Machine Learning, present functional and remarkably reliable solutions for probing wind turbines and their associated infrastructure. When opposed to traditional inspection methods in renewable energy, drones promote safety by withdrawing workers from dangerous situations on-site, decreasing maintenance costs, and inspection costs, and even minimizing downtime.
Drone data is known to be clear, precise, and of high resolution. UAVs furnished with high-quality cameras can precisely seize aerial photographs and videos of the entire blade with clarity of up to 40 MP! Backed with advanced technologies such as LiDAR, operators can even obtain explicit measures of defects and other potential hazards. Details procured via modern drone technology are remarkably beneficial for the upkeep of assets and the retainment of their productivity. Simultaneously, the level of precision seized through UAVs is undoubtedly unbeatable against other inspection techniques.
Drone Data Can Be Easily Analyzed:
Once the drone data is achieved, it is passed through diverse automated processing and classification systems. Specialists in the field of information manually scrutinize the data for quality checks and evaluate any significant concerns regarding the wind turbine and its related infrastructure. The data is often represented as 3D models or other prototypes of designs for easy interpretations. The complete process assures that all gaps are recognized and annotated for prompt decision-making and effective asset maintenance.
Drone Data Is Easy to Use:
Once the data is processed, it’s often uploaded on an online portal. The organization can inspect the data to recognize defects and even classify data according to their needs. The data is often accessible on various devices such as phones, laptops, and even tablets. The company is confronted with the utmost convenience as the data report of defects can effortlessly be displayed as a PDF in a button’s touch! The drone data is supplied to clients in such a manner that it becomes notably simple to understand and interpret.
Data Can Be Organized and Stored:
UAV data are arranged and stored so that organizations can appropriate this information in the future as well. For activities such as progress monitoring especially, storing data is a necessity. The information is securely uploaded onto a portal to which only the organization has access. Businesses can keep track of changes and even make comparisons for further analysis in the future.
Safety & Efficiency:
Enhanced workers’ efficiency and safety are probably one of the leading reasons why drones are so popular in the energy industry. Crew members have the opportunity to get a closer look at potential defects instantly without having to indulge in hazardous manual techniques, which would require them to climb wind turbines. With UAVs on-site, last-minute spot checks can be administered in minimal time through aerial photography. Not only is worker-safety being prioritized, wind-turbine downtime is also minimized, all with the retainment of information quality.
Advantages of Using UAV Technique for inspection
· Provides high-resolution data
· Thermal imagery can be used to assist wind turbine inspection and tracking
· Quicker, Less cost & better data
· Drones collect smarter data required to recognize and mitigate risks, increasing revenue
· Non-contact and non-destructive inspection methods
· Most successful drone inspections minimize man-hours and expenses
· Performance improves because of the precision and durability of the results
· Images and videos can be sent to the ground control station for real-time transmission
· Structured data, organized and stored in a secured platform where you can access it any time and track changes over time