Power provider Ørsted, a Danish multinational power company based in Fredericia, Denmark, has reduced its inspection times by 50% and have improved its wind turbine inspections times thanks to the Flyability Elios 2.
For all energy providers maintenance is necessary, for Ørsted this means manually inspecting a total of 600 wind turbines needing to be inspected once per year. Each blade in the wind turbine is made up of two chambers separated by a web.
The blades are checked for damage from lightning, missing bolts, cracks, or other defects that could compromise the blade’s integrity. This means an inspector entering the blade could be entering an extremely dangerous area.
Ørsted planned its test of the Elios 2 for a wind turbine at one of its offshore wind farms.
As part of the test, Ørsted wanted to experiment with attaching a UNISET device onto the Elios 2 to understand the accuracy of the data captured, as well as the feasibility of putting an additional payload onto the drone.
The UNISET is a device that makes it possible for inspectors to know the exact distance the drone is from it when flying into the blades, which then allows them to determine the precise location of any defects found during the flight.
The Flyability Elios 2 allowed 40% more of the wind turbine to be inspected that previously possible by hand, allowing the company to collect more visual data and be even more sure of the wind turbine's condition.
Previously, when inspecting a wind turbine blade from the inside a person needed to crawl into it to inspect it and take photos. The Elios 2 allowed the inspectors to stay out of the blade, reducing the chance of something going wrong.
Speed & ROI
The inspection time was cut in half, which is important for a power company as every second the wind turbine isn't on is a potential loss in revenue. This time reduction also allowed Ørsted to inspect more wind turbines in the same amount of time.