The inspection of wind turbines with drones has become a real revolution for the wind industry. With the use of this technology, operators have the ability to perform maintenance tasks in just a few minutes in complete safety.
For example, performing technical inspections of wind turbines with drones can help the correct operation of wind turbine blades, and, failing that, the proper and optimal activity of the wind turbine for an even longer period of time, thus achieving a significant reduction in the cost of wind energy.
In addition, the maintenance of wind turbines with drones can detect cracks, erosion generated by the wind, sun and water; and other types of damage that may imply a malfunction, as well as a danger for both workers and other people who are inside or in the vicinity of the facilities.
What is a wind turbine and how does it work?
A wind turbine can be defined as a windmill that converts the kinetic energy generated by the wind into electricity, all through the rotating movement of the turbines that form part of it.
Its operation is simple. Below, we will mention the main steps that the wind turbine follows from the moment it starts up until it finally manages to convert the wind into energy:
- The wind turbine is activated by the wind, which causes the blades to turn and rotate at about 13-20 revolutions per minute.
- This rotation produces a rotating force on the blades of the wind turbine.
- Inside the wind turbine, we find a gearbox, which makes the wind turbine start to activate and the magnetic fields start to work, transforming the rotational energy into electrical energy.
- Finally, in order to transform these watts into the voltage needed for the corresponding distribution network, a powerful transformer will be needed.
- Once the energy has been transformed and obtained, the process is finished.
What are the risks of not inspecting wind turbines correctly?
Incorrect inspection of wind turbines has a number of risks that you need to be aware of. In general, the risks in the maintenance of the turbines that form part of the wind turbine can vary depending on the type of machine in question or the site where it is located. The most important hazards that exist are:
- Electrical contact with conductors or different elements of the turbine.
- Entrapment, either with the different moving parts of the wind turbine, or with the work equipment of which it is composed.
- Overexertion and forced postures due to the handling of heavy loads, reduced working spaces and physical effort when climbing the tower.
- Fire due to the presence of electrical and mechanical sources of ignition.
- Collapse of the equipment, a platform or parts of the structure, due to failures caused by exceeding the maximum weight indicated by the manufacturer, or due to the poor condition of the fibre.
Advantages and benefits of wind turbine inspection with drones
The inspection of wind turbines with drones has a large number of advantages. The fact is that the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for the maintenance and inspection of this type of installation generates a large number of facilities for each and every one of the technicians responsible for the service, some of the main ones are:
- Drones have the ability to reach places that humans are unable to access. Thanks to their advanced and innovative technology, UAVs collect much more information and are not as risky.
- Their technology provides all the information needed to then analyse what steps need to be taken to complete maintenance.
- Cost savings.
- Reduction of occupational accidents. Drones help prevent workers from having to climb to very high heights to carry out maintenance tasks.
- Constant improvement of the service.
How do drones work in the inspection of wind turbines?
As mentioned above, drones in the energy industry play a very important role in the inspection of wind turbines. Their operation is based on the maintenance of both the wind wings and their entire structure, with the aim of ensuring that there is no damage to the frame. All this data is stored in the device thanks to a programme that the technician is in charge of controlling remotely.
How do the drones work to clean the wind wings that are part of the wind turbine? The process is very simple:
- Using a series of patterns and its zig-zag technique, the drone is responsible for completely cleaning the wind turbine wings.
- As mentioned in the previous step, the drone moves around the wind turbine, cleaning the entire wind turbine structure.
- After cleaning the entire structure of the wind turbine, the drone will clean the focus nozzle, a nozzle that shoots water in the desired direction.
The best drones for wind turbine inspection com HPDRONES
HPDRONES is the leading brand in the Iberian Peninsula in knowledge, marketing and services provided by drones. We provide all our customers with a complete and personalised consultancy service, hardware and software, as well as the best drones with which you will achieve an optimal inspection of your wind turbines.
DJI Mavic 2 Enterprise Advanced. Thanks to the incredible resolution of its camera, its precise thermal sensors, the power of its zoom, its RTK module and its Waypoints, the M2EA is perfect for the inspection of both wind turbines and any energy installation. Don’t miss the opportunity to have one of the most technologically prepared drones on the market!
Trinity F90+. The Trinity 90+ offers a 90-minute autonomy, high-precision sensors – dual RGB and NDVI -, iBase QS, powerful engines, real-time air traffic reading, control with a range of up to 7km, 2.4 GHz telemetry, ADS-B S-Mode transponder and anti-collision lights. Its advanced features make it the perfect solution for the inspection of wind turbines, as well as other industrial plants.
We have a wide range of drones for you to choose the one that best suits the cleaning of your wind turbine. We offer you the highest quality and a team that will provide you with all the information you need to resolve any doubts that may arise in this regard, as well as any advice that will help you make the decision that best suits your needs.