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.
Routine drone wind turbine inspections 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. Drone wind turbine inspections allow wind operators to have answers faster, save time, save money and target blade defects earlier when the severity classification is low.
Documented drone wind turbine inspections also provide vital year-over-year information AND an important chain of custody to support that will prevent or resolve contract warranty disputes and/or legitimize insurance claims.
By The Numbers – Reduce Wind Turbine Blade Inspection Costs & Down Time
Let’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). A traditional rope inspection cost for one turbine is, therefore, $3525.
Using drone wind turbine inspections through Recon Aerial takes about 45 minutes of total downtime ($42) and costs approximately $769 per wind turbine.
A traditional rope inspection company would take 100 days (~$352,500) to inspect 100 wind turbines.
RECON AERIAL can inspect 100 wind turbines in about 12 days for $76,900.
Additionally, our drone wind turbine inspections include triple-redundant damage review and access to a cloud-based collaboration and reporting software, which holds all data and significantly enhances reporting, data aggregation, data sharing, and service delivery.
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.
Recon Aerial Media has firmed up its relationships with several software service providers who specialize in AI-based damage recognition. Notably, we are working with an industry-leading team of blade experts. This blade management team has quietly processed and analyzed 15,000 wind turbine sites’ data and counting over the last 10-15 years. We are very happy to offer our clients a solution built on expert onsite drone flight services AND this immense amount of machine learning and experience! Recon Aerials’ turn-key drone wind turbine inspections service is made even stronger than ever.
All damage found on wind turbine blades is vetted both by blade defect/analysis experts and by Recon Aerial through manual review. However, we have integrated AI capability to provide incredibly fast damage detection results, complete with online collaboration, data aggregation, and sharable inspection reports.
Our on-site services are very responsive and our drone wind turbine inspections reports are typically provided to the client within days of completing the inspection service.
We now offer autonomous drone wind turbine blade inspections to clients who would like to add our services at scale to improve the maintenance management of their asset fleet.
We can also offer infrared blade inspections by drone in Canada upon special request. If you want to learn more about wind turbine energy or energy transformation in general we recommend that you visit the Canadian Renewable Energy Association.
Recon Aerial is more than a drone service provider. Each drone wind turbine inspection is a client-first opportunity to demonstrate our responsiveness and our project management expertise.
For each inspection project at minimum we:
Ultimately our goal is to identify wind turbine blade damage that can lead to 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 blade maintenance priorities and to make timely, cost-effective repair decisions.
Aggregated wind turbine inspection data can be used to baseline insights and to track blade wear progression. Aggregated data via defect inspection records offers wind turbine operators insights that can help preserve annual energy production.
We found, on one of our prior wind turbine blade inspection projects, 3 specific defects comprised 84% of the damage across 20 wind turbines.
Aggregating data in this way is a power tool. Wind park operations managers are able to make better-contracting decisions. Operations managers can complete more specific maintenance/repair bid solicitation documents, and potentially reduce repair costs, management costs, reduce owner downtime thus reducing the levelized cost of energy production and ultimately improving annual energy production. Good data is interesting, excellent data saves money!
Drone wind turbine inspections provide better information sooner thus providing a more streamlined, targeted approach to meet maintenance objectives.
Though we have developed our in-house expertise to inspect and review wind turbine blade damage, we also retain a solid working relationship with a leader in expert blade repair, with a premiere blade composites manufacturer, and with SGS Global a leader in certification and verification who, in some cases, can undertake 3rd party independent reviews of our findings to ensure the highest standard of results reporting.
Recon Aerial Media is currently under subcontract to Siemens 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 Aerial has the know-how, experience, and workflow 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 25-35 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.