COP26 may have come and gone but the upward battle to fight climate change is ever increasing.

And one of the big areas that the Government is turning to is Wind Energy as a renewable alternative to fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal.

The wind power sector is therefore growing and growing fast. And this means that the use of drones for wind turbine inspection is also increasing in demand. The advantages of using drone inspection over conventional inspection work has been well known for a while. And with more and more turbines being erected, it means that cutting down on inspection times is even more important than ever – time really is money.

Using traditional long range photography and rope access inspection teams is slow, dangerous and expensive. Drone inspection can reduce inspection costs up to 80% (site requirements dependent) and cut down on the number of human rope access climbs that are required – increasing site safety.

Replacing unreliable human inspections

Wind Turbines are understandably located in high wind locations. This makes human inspections even more dangerous and can limit both when an inspection team can access a wind turbine but also the vantage points that they can reach. This can all limit the quality of an inspection with camera photography dependant on the individual inspection team members abilities at operating the equipment.

Our drone inspection equipment is fitted with LiDAR sensors, GPS and where required/available, pre-programmed flight plans with return to home functionality in the event of a signal loss. This all means that we can pin point exact problems with a wind turbine blade during inspection and even use previous light path data to gain future inspection data on that exact same spot – vital for continual monitoring of a blade problem.

Some of the largest wind turbine blades are now in excess of 100 meters and blade erosion and general wear and tear can reduce a wind turbines energy generation potential by several % marks. With our increasing dependence on wind power energy, a drop of 2% on several turbines all at the same time can easily amount to a significant overall drop in energy production.

Moving from reactive maintenance and repairs to planned maintenance and repairs

Previously, wind turbine repairs were conducted when a problem had occurred. A turbine could be out of action for weeks, if not longer. Now with the use of automated drone inspections, the data that we capture can be used to provide maintenance and repair suggestions that can be scheduled into a turbines yearly maintenance plan and ideally conducted during low wind season.

Find out more

We provide award winning drone survey and inspection services nationwide. Our team of fully qualified drone pilots can provide visual indoor, outdoor and underwater drone surveys with HD video, thermal imaging and photography media for multiple sectors including the wind energy sector.

The significant cost and time savings of drone surveys means that they are a genuine alternative to conventional inspection methods and are fast becoming the number 1 method of conducting regular visual inspections on structures, utilities and infrastructure.

To meet the growing demand for drone surveys, we are constantly expanding our fleet of aerial drones to meet our customers needs and offer the very best in drone services across Scotland and the North of England.