Wind energy: Easier maintenance with drones

According to the Federal Environment Agency, a total of 428 terawatt-hours (TWh) of renewable energy were provided last year. That is almost 17 percent of the total final energy consumption. The share is even higher if one only looks at electricity production: Over a third (37.8 percent) of gross electricity consumption is now covered by renewable energies. Wind energy, which set a new record in 2018, made the largest contribution to electricity generation. The 111.6 TWh it generates form the backbone of the green electricity supply.

In order to maintain this growth, even more, wind turbines will have to be built on land and water in the coming years. However, it should not be forgotten that existing wind turbines need regular inspections and maintenance measures in order to function optimally. Up to now, this has been a complex undertaking, for which either trained industrial climbers or qualified personnel in helicopters were needed. Both cost a lot of money and time that could be better spent elsewhere. 

Complete inspection in less than an hour

But this problem could soon be history: Thanks to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). More and more companies from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland are entering the market for drone-based inspections of wind turbines. With the right hardware and software, a wind turbine can be completely inspected in less than an hour, including a 360-degree rotation of the rotor blades. With over 29,000 wind turbines on the German mainland alone, this means enormous time savings.

And it's not just land-based turbines that can benefit from drones. Offshore wind turbines off the coasts of Germany and the Netherlands can also be inspected by multicopter. An Austrian company demonstrated this for the first time in August of this year. Thanks to high-resolution cameras and AI-supported analysis, time and money are saved here as well.

Plan your drone project!

In order to maximize the potential of UAVs for the maintenance of wind turbines, you need the right project management. Information on the legal framework in the area must be obtained, ideal flight routes must be planned in advance. FlyNex can help. With market-leading products like MAP2FLY and HORIZON, anyone can plan and carry out their drone project in accordance with the law. Are you interested? Then inform yourself now!

The FlyNex Team

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