Innovation That Matters

Aerones' technology will make turbine maintenance more cost and carbon-efficient | Photo source Thomas Reaubourg on Unsplash

Drones that inspect and repair wind turbines

Agriculture & Energy

The drone system can be used to repair and maintain onshore and offshore wind turbines, saving time and money

Spotted: It is estimated that global capacity for wind power will be over 955 gigawatts by the end of 2022, with China leading the way with 359,770 turbines as of June this year. However, the large number of wind turbines across the globe also means there is a rapidly growing need for innovative wind turbine maintenance systems – especially for offshore turbines. Company Aerones has designed a system that uses drones to conduct such maintenance work.

Aerones offers inspection, cleaning, and repair services using a variety of different drones and tools. For example, its robotic cleaning system uses a powerful brush to clean dust and oil, reusing water during cleaning to reduce waste. Other drones in the company’s repertoire can repair blades using a modular tool base that can sand, fill eroded surfaces, apply protective coatings, and more.

In addition to the utility of its system, Aerones offers reassurance that the system does not take jobs away from technicians. Instead, the company says that the drones are each controlled by certified technicians “from the comfort of a warm vehicle”. In addition, it claims that the robotic tools are more precise and efficient than technicians acting alone, resulting in four to six times less downtime.

The company adds that its “unique proprietary system brings high-quality robotic services enabling our wind turbine technicians to perform inspections, cleaning, maintenance and repairs (…) Robots will allow the wind industry to turn towards fast and efficient preventive maintenance.”

Wind power is big business and is increasingly being seen as a vital tool in reaching net zero. Springwise has also spotted a floating vertical axis wind turbine and recyclable onshore turbines.

Written By: Lisa Magloff




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