Drone Wind Turbine Inspection – Technology of the Future

Drone Wind Turbine Inspection

According to a new report from Navigant Research, the global market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) for inspection is expected to explode with growth and reach $6 billion by the year 2024.

Traditionally, wind turbine technicians have used binoculars or field scopes to inspect turbine blades from the ground or had to use cables or ropes to scale the turbines.  But the use of drones will make this work safer, less time consuming and, therefore, more cost effective.

The  sheer volume of wind turbine blades, currently numbering approximately 800,000, that need to be inspected for normal deterioration and for pre-end-of-warranty contractual obligations will drive the growing demand for drone inspection vehicles.

Drones can be used remotely, and can deliver extremely high-resolution pictures. Spectrometers, thermographic cameras and other sets of sensors can also be mounted on the drones to produce data according to the user’s requirements.

“The use of drones for wind turbine blade inspection is proving to be more than a novelty,” says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Current inspection techniques from the ground and by rope or platform access will not be replaced, however, they will increasingly be augmented by drone inspections, which bring certain advantages.”

Drone wind turbine inspection is a wonderful use of UAV technology – much better than delivering packages.

Tracey Smith About Tracey Smith
Tracey is an accountant and entrepreneur with a passion for nature. This passion is what spurred her interest in renewable energy, and the rest is history as they say. Tracey is a principal in Energy Think Group, the publisher of Solar Thermal Magazine and Tek-Think. She is also the principal at Women's Financial Help Desk. She spends her free time in the outdoors with her horses and dogs. She loves to travel.

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