Drone Wind Turbine Inspections in Canada

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Drone Wind Turbine Inspections in Canada

Recon Aerial offers enterprise Drone Wind Turbine Inspections in Canada and abroad for Turbine Manufacturers, Wind Farm Owners/Operators and O&M Specialists looking to reduce risk, resolve under-performance issues and potentially prevent expensive blade failures and significant downtime events.

wind turbine inspection from the back using a drone_800

 

Documented Visual Records & Artificially Intelligent Driven Inspection Reports

 

Routine wind turbine inspections by drone are the foundation of an effective and timely maintenance schedule. Rapid visual inspections allow for quick response to field issues and provide key turbine blade information to operations managers. Wind turbine inspections by drone allow wind operators to have answers faster, save time, save money and target blade defects earlier, when the severity classification is low.

Documented inspections  also provide a vital year-over-year information AND important chain of custody to support that will prevent or resolve end of contract warranty disputes and/or legitimize insurance claims.

Wind Turbine Blade Inspections by UAV Save Money and Reduce Risk

By The Numbers – Reduce Wind Turbine Blade Inspection Costs & Down Time

rope inspection vs uav inspection for turbines copyLet’s assume that it takes 1 day to fully inspect a turbine using traditional rope methods and costs $3000.

Let’s also assume that the WT will be down for 8 hrs thus the owner will lose $525 of lost energy production (10hrs, $0.10 per kWh, a capacity factor of 35%, and a nameplate capacity of 1500 kWh).

In this case the total estimated cost of using traditional methods for one turbine is $3525.00.

Using drone inspections through Recon Aerial the cost for a complete wind turbine drone inspection of the same wind turbine whether conducted manually or using Artificially Intelligent (AI) driven software for defect recognition is approximately $750.  Each inspection takes 22-25 minutes of flight time and a total of 35-45 minutes costing the owner $42 in downtime (the total per WT inspection = $792)

 

It costs approximately 4.5x more to conduct traditional rope wind turbine blade inspections vs. wind turbine inspections by drone. Let’s say that another way, Recon Aerial can inspect 100 turbines instead of 20 for the same owner investment.

Using drones to inspect wind turbine blades significantly reduces cost, speeds up damage discovery/reporting and reduces the risk of a critical fault causing damage.

Repeatable inspection processes and data provide key insights to build a more robust blade maintenance program.

Turn-Key, Annualized Wind Turbine Blade Inspections by Drone

Loss Prevention

Ultimately our goal is to identify wind turbine blade damage that can lead to expensive failures BUT importantly to identify issues that degrade performance. The data we provide is used by manufacturers, owners/operators and O&M specialists to set priorities and make time/cost effective repair decisions.

Aggregated wind turbine inspection data is also used to provide baseline insights to track blade wear progression. Aggregated data via defect inspection records offer wind turbine operators insights that can help preserve annual energy production. 

On our last wind turbine blade inspection project found that 3 specific defect types in 5 locations on the blade comprised 84% of  the found damage.

In this way, operations managers are able to make better contracting decisions for repairs and maintenance management. Operations managers can complete better, more specific maintenance/repair contracting specs (or plans), reduce repair management costs, reduce owner downtime and reduce the levelized cost related to AEP.

Drone wind turbine blade inspections provide better information sooner thus providing a more streamlined, targeted approach.

 

Built-In Capacity

Recon Aerial Media is currently under subcontract to DJI_0216Siemens for wind turbine blade inspections throughout Canada. This massive undertaking will see us conduct up to 12000 blade inspections on over 1000+ wind turbines each year. This collective intelligence perfectly positions Recon to serve manufacturer’s owner/operators and O&M specialists alike throughout the wind industry across Canada and beyond.

Recon has the know-how, experience and work-flow procedures, to conduct wind turbine inspections with technical expertise. Our methodology surpasses some automated inspection processes, and we routinely gather data for a complete wind turbine inspection by drone with between 22-25 minutes of drone flight time.

Combining immense boots-on-the-ground operational experience with the data from prior blade inspections we can easily highlight lightning strikes, hairline cracks, white cracks, leading edge erosion, delamination and many other types of blade defects.

Though we have developed our in-house expertise to review wind turbine blade damage, we also retain solid working relationship with a premiere blades composites manufacturer and undertake 3rd party independent reviews of our findings to ensure the highest standard of quality reporting.

 

Leading Edge

wind turbine inspections by drone in CanadaRecon Aerial Media has a great working relationship with a premier software company who has developed AI software specifically for defect recognition in wind turbine blades.

Though we vet all types of damage manually, we can integrate AI software to provide incredibly fast defect results, complete with sharable site reports. 

We are also constantly refreshing our knowledge base with respect to software and sensor technology that can add further value to our client’s operations.

We can now offer autonomous blade inspections and we are in early discussions to bring infrared sensor technology to wind turbine inspections by drone in Canada.

Comprehensive Solution

wind turbine blade leading edge erosion discovered by recon aerial drone inspectionWe are in the final stages of discussions to partner with a global leading inspection and verification company with years of experience who will at the clients request interpret the data we collect and provide our clients with options.

Upon request our partners will assist as required to review the inspection data with owners/operations to establish a specific plan to remedy problems that will minimize loss, solve performance issues and keep blades turning.

Drone Wind Turbine Inspections in Canada - Service Agreements

1

Complete Inspection Management

2

Optical Inspection Media Only

Inspection Media Only

Annual Service Agreement
  • 1 Annual Inspections of All Assets
  • Pre-mission Compliance Review
  • Risk Analysis and Control Measures
  • Site Survey & Flight Plans
  • Regulatory Approval for UAV Operations
  • Air Authority Airspace Deconfliction
  • Advanced RPAS pilots
  • Drone Liability Insurance
  • Full Blade Surface Inspection
  • Full License for all Media

What is the annualized cost for UAV Turbine Blade Inspections?

We are glad you asked! Use the basic estimation tool below to estimate the costs for either a complete wind turbine inspection service agreement or the paired down inspection data only service agreement.

Wind Turbine Inspection Calculator