Drones to Support Wind Turbine Blade Inspection for Leading Edge Erosion


/19th July 2018, by Drone Market Watch™/


While wind turbine blades see millions of turns over their lifetime, degradation due to lightning, stress fractures and fatigue is unavoidable. Like any motor, wind turbine blades require scheduled maintenance to perform at their optimal levels. Improve capacity factors with the proper blade maintenance—especially on the leading edge. Inspection and repair of wind turbine blades requires knowledge, expertise and special equipment together with highly trained technicians. It is necessary to use fully equipped service vans, rope access teams, climbers, etc. Inspections and repairs can be carried out globally for both on- and offshore installations. Use of drones (UAVs) in wind blade inspection works could save substantial amount of funds, to save time and to reduce health and safety risk.

DNV GL has compiled blade failure rates from 10 GW of operating wind projects and found that 1% to 3% of turbines in North America require blade replacements annually in the first 10 years of operation, with the highest failure rates usually occurring in year 1 and year 5

Some of the main activities in the wind turbine inspection process, where drones (UAVs) application could be useful and supportive are:

  • Warranty Check-up. More often than not, blades are not inspected up close since the day of commissioning. Performing a hands-on independent inspection of all rotor blades 3-9 months prior to warranty expiration is recommended. Blade repair is costly. Identifying issues covered under warranty can easily pay for the inspection several times over.
  • Annual Blade Check-up. Blades should be inspected every 2-3 years and more frequently if known issues are present.
  • Emergency inspections of blade damages. Time is of the essence when a turbine is down due to unexpected blade damages. Rope access with technicians is unavoidable in such cases, but before sending teams for rope access is essential to make inspection for damages, which could be easily performed with drones (UAVs).

Drone Market Watch™ published the new report Drones in Wind Power Industry Global Market Outlook 2018÷2027. This independent, 160+ page report analyzes global market for drones (UAVs) application in wind power industry regarding market dynamics, technology characteristics, industry structure, innovations and key industry vendors. Through extensive research and discussions with experts in the industry, Drone Market Watch™ has identified a series of market trends that will impact this market over the coming decade.


The more information about Drones (UAVs) in Wind Power Industry, including full contact details of drone manufacturer and industry vendors you may read here: Drones in Wind Power Industry Global Market Outlook 2018÷2027


About Drone Market Watch™

Drone Market Watch™ is delivering strategic insight about emerging commercial and civil drone (UAV) markets. We partner with our customers to provide research and consulting reports in areas appropriate to their specific requirements. Our primary focus is drone (UAV) manufacture, software development, infrastructure inspection, renewable power plants inspection, oil and gas industry inspection, filming and media, agriculture aerial crop analysis, transport and delivery, first responder markets, etc. More information about Drone Market Watch™ you can read here: http://dronemarketwatch.com/about-us/mission




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