Wind turbine inspections using SUAS are more cost-effective are safer and enable a better record-keeping and fault reference workflow than traditional methods of inspection. Historically this operation has been dangerous and at huge expense to the client.
Inspection of renewable energy assets such as Wind Turbines has been traditionally undertaken by a trained rope access teams. They inspect the blade as they descend from the center of the turbine slowly edging their way the entire length before descending to the ground. The blade is repositioned and the process is repeated dependant on weather conditions. To record any faults and anomalies is cumbersome, slow, and can be expensive. The task requires extensive planning and risk assessment to ensure the task is completed safely
The use of a SUAS fitted with a high-resolution and thermal imaging payload to assess the blade and asset condition is not designed to replace the physical inspection carried out by trained teams but to determine what maintenance is required, moreover, drones can be used to direct the activity of the rope access team more effectively and enable a more rapid coverage of the turbine and the Wind Farm site. The cost savings from the use of a UAV mean that turbines can be inspected more frequently.