Drone-based Inspections for Wind Turbine Blades

Monitor the performance of a wind installation and identify warranty claims

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Reduce climbs by 50% and costs of inspections by 80%.1

Whether you need to monitor the performance of a wind installation, inspect a site for warranty claims, or just want your investment to perform more efficiently, our drone-based solutions deliver a flexible, cost-effective way to inspect your wind turbines.
 
1Based on aggregated client results. 2018.

Transform Wind Energy Operations

Download our solution brief to learn how you can deploy drone-based solutions to safely and efficiently manage the wind turbine blade lifecycle. You’ll learn:

How to strengthen asset management with drone-based aerial intelligence

Our wind turbine solution, a comprehensive platform featuring flight operations, our software programs, PrecisionFlight and PrecisionAnalytics, and reporting

Three common strategies in data collection using drone-based technology

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Wind assets are hard to inspect on-site. O&M providers and asset owners currently rely on rope access technicians and ground-based cameras to check for cracks, tip erosion, delamination, and other issues.

Now, using drones, you can get better data, faster.

  • Operators prioritize maintenance and achieve production goals.
  • Owners manage assets over a lifetime, selecting operators and materials that consistently maintain the best outputs.
  • Insurers and claims adjusters get a comprehensive view of assets before paying warranty or damage claims.

Get Comprehensive Drone and Data Services

There’s no need to own a drone, maintain a pilot on staff, or analyze data. We’ve built our service based on years of operations research and work for Fortune 100 clients. As a result, you can procure enterprise-grade aerial intelligence—featuring easy-to-understand action items and takeaways—through a simple, turnkey service.
 
 

Here's how it works:

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Collect

Credentialed pilots, with experience flying PV projects, deploy thermal, LiDAR, and multispectral sensors to collect data over the assets.

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Process and Analyze

Overseen by our data scientists, the sensor data is processed by proprietary algorithms that interpret the data.

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Deliver and Action

Reports identify potential issues and where they are on your property. When data is collected over time, the resulting operational insights can enable long-term asset management.

When you’re ready to take your drone program “in-house,” we can help you transition without interruption.

 

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PrecisionAnalytics Wind

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Put Aerial Intelligence to Work on Your Installations

Don’t just collect data—get insights. Use our intuitive reporting system to resolve issues or integrate data into asset management systems.

 

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Our reports identify:

Leading edge erosion • Lightning strike damage • Small cracks or splits along the bond joints • Foreign object damage • Very small cracks and light wear that can’t be seen by scope • UV radiation damage • Fiber waves • Pitch errors • Gel coat degradation • Potentially catastrophic delamination

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How Our Clients are Using PrecisionAnalytics Wind

Site Selection: LIDAR-equipped drones can map vegetation, terrain and water features.  

Pre-purchase Evaluation: Buyers can request a report detailing blade and turbine health.

Insurance Risk Assessment: Insurers can offer customers a discount if the assets are in good condition.

Insurance Claims Reporting: Owners can quickly assess damage after a storm or other damaging event for insurance claims.

Increase Inspection Frequency

Our reports are easy to read and give your maintenance staff detailed information to help decide if a blade needs to be serviced immediately, or if the fix can wait. Because a drone flyover is less expensive, assets can be scanned for issues more frequently so boats, crews, cranes, and climbers can be scheduled more economically.

Improve Safety

In addition, drone inspections reduce safety risk by cutting in half (or more) the number of times a turbine needs to be climbed. With the inspection done via drone, only the repair needs to involve a climb. Drone inspection offers the best balance of cost, quality, and turbine downtime.

Harness the Power of Advanced Drone Technology

 We employ the most advanced thermal infrared and high-resolution visual sensors available.

“By attaching thermal imaging cameras to drones, it is possible to detect subsurface defects in composite materials, including delamination, inclusions, faulty bonding in the loadbearing web-flange joints, and shrinkage cavities,’’ notes the Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy Systems in a report from 2017. “Under operational load, such defects deep inside the rotor blade, if not detected and dealt with in good time, can provoke more serious structural damage and eventually lead to a total breakdown.”

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Results

Equinor wins Health & Safety award

Statoil (now Equinor) used PrecisionHawk to complete drone inspections for its 317 megawatt Sheringham Shoal Wind Farm off the coast of Norfolk, United Kingdom in 2017. The 200 drone flights inspected 264 blades. The inspections revealed blade health details Equinor had not known about before. The drones were operated from the site’s standard 19-meter service vessels with no need for climbers.

Equinor won a RenewableUK Health & Safety agency award for a significant reduction in risky transfers and equipment lifts.

 

When to fly BVLOS (and when not to)

ipad-bvlose The foundation of an effective drone strategy is knowing when to use traditional, VLOS, and BVLOS inspection approaches.

 

Read the Whitepaper

Why PrecisionHawk?

We’ve built our offerings to scale. From investing in geospatial science expertise to understanding the regulatory environment, we’re able to support a one-time flight or a fully integrated enterprise aerial intelligence program.

 

The World’s Largest Commercial Drone Pilot Network

More than 15,000 licensed operators are available to fly any site in the United States within 24 to 72 hours.

Regulatory management

All our FAA Part 107 certified and insured pilots follow PrecisionHawk’s OSHA-compliant Standard Operating Procedures and an FAA-defined Safety Management System. We also hold an  “A” grade from ISNet.

Fast, actionable intelligence

It’s not a PDF or a pile of photos. We offer a web interface with a report you can integrate into your asset management systems.

Leaders in Drone-based Geospatial Science

Our industry-leading team of Ph.D. and remote sensing-accredited geospatial scientists ensure the quality and accuracy of data outcomes.

Experts in Advanced Remote Sensing Hardware

We help you select the best sensor for the job, and understand the unique needs of your wind installation.

Services and solutions to help you manage your wind installation

Want to further integrate drones into your preventive maintenance and incident recovery programs? We offer a full suite of services that strengthen the data value chain. The result: You can manage your wind turbines efficiently and effectively.  

Colin Snow, Skylogic Research

"We think [PrecisionHawk's recent acquisitions] position the firm as a leading service provider for companies wanting to perform asset inspections—specifically those companies in the oil & gas, insurance, and utility industries that need BVLOS operations."

 

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Get a Quote

Whether you are looking to optimize your assets’ performance, save money on time-consuming field inspections or understand the value of a solar install you are looking to buy, we provide a flexible, compliant and cost-effective approach.

 
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