Wind Turbine Inspections by the UK’s leading drone pilots

At the end of 2017 there were nearly 345,000 wind turbines operating worldwide and it’s fair to assume that this number has increased since then. Each must be regularly inspected and maintained in order to keep it at optimum efficiency.

There are some very obvious difficulties in carrying out thorough inspections on these towering structures. Luckily, these are difficulties that UAVs are ideally positioned to overcome.

The requirement for high quality cameras, craft and licensed experienced pilots means that much of this inspection work is outsourced – saving the wind farm owner the price of the investment and maintenance of the drone and ensuring fast and reliable results with minimal downtime.

High winds, dust and electromagnetic interference are just some of the challenges faced by the talented pilots carrying out these wind turbine inspections. The slightest collision with the rotating blades could prove not only catastrophic for the drone but can also generate a costly repair bill for the turbine, so these are pilots at the top of their game.  This is why it is so important to only use licensed, insured, legal operators such as those on the Drone Safe Register to carry out this type of inspection work.

Regular wind turbine inspections are key to spotting potential problems early so action can be taken before they worsen. This helps to keep the turbine operating at maximum efficiency with a minimum of down time – great news in terms of power output.

As well as high resolution images, drones can be fitted with thermal cameras to enable a deeper level of inspection and highlighting problems that would be invisible to the naked eye – such as internal structural damage and heat damage.  The fact that this level of detail can be captured while the turbine is still operating is something that simply would not be possible were a person carrying out the work without drone equipment.

So, as well as minimising the risks associated with working at height, using a drone to carry out the inspection also offers minimal business interruption.

Drone Safe Register can offer a nationwide network of qualified and legal pilots to take care of any wind turbine inspection requirements you may have. Our National Accounts Management Service “Major Accounts” allows us to offer our clients a single point of contact for multiple locations – offering simplified job requisitioning, accounting and administration as well as all the benefits of UAV inspection technology.

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About the Author: DSR Journalist

Harrison Green