Drone inspection of wind turbines

Autonomous drones enable efficient and high-quality visual inspections even in hard-to-reach places of wind turbines, so that defects can be detected and remedied at an early stage.

The immaculate state of wind turbines is essential for an optimal performance and energy generation. Even inconspicuous defects on the rotor blade, the tower or the nacelle can significantly impair performance or harm the environment. Regular inspections prevent minor defects from developing into expensive major damage that causes total failure of the turbine.

energy consult Prüfgesellschaft carries out visual rotor blade inspections and lightning protection checks with its own drones and staff using TOPseven's patented technology. The innovative process allows the drones to operate autonomously, eliminating the need for control by specialised pilots.

A decisive advantage for the operator of wind turbines is that the drone inspections can be combined with those on the nacelle and tower. In this way, the downtime of the turbines and thus also the loss of income for the operator is significantly reduced by almost 50% compared to the conventional approach.

Rotor blade inspection

The rotor blades are particularly exposed to the forces of nature and must withstand environmental influences on a daily basis while continuously producing energy. For the rotor blade inspection, an exact flight route is calculated so that the drone can fly over the turbine autonomously.

It transmits high-resolution image material from different perspectives, which is particularly precise due to the autonomous flight and is subsequently processed into a damage report. By combining this inspection with those on the nacelle and tower, the downtime of the turbines and thus the loss of income for the operator can be halved.

Lightning protection checks

Lightning protection checks are also carried out contact-free by the drone without. In this unique procedure, an electromagnetic field is fed non-invasively into the lightning protection system. While the drone flies along the rotor blades, a special sensor measures the signals received.

For the first time, the collected field data can be used to determine the functionality of the lightning protection system quickly, efficiently and precisely with the help of a special measuring technique and mathematical-algorithmic processing. The innovative TOPseven method also allows for the precise localisation of possible damage points, which means that they can be traced at any time for subsequent repair.