Vestas Goes With Drones For 1,250-Turbine Inspection Campaign

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Sulzer Schmid, a provider of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology for rotor blade inspections, and WKA, a blade inspection and repair service provider, have been enlisted by Vestas to conduct a drone-based blade inspection campaign in Scandinavia.

The inspections will cover a whopping 1,250 wind turbines in under 12 weeks.

The blades of the 1,250 Vestas turbines, located across Sweden and Finland, must be inspected in time for the beginning of the repair work season, which traditionally takes place during the less windy summer months. To meet the deadline, Vestas has opted for a drone-based solution.

Sulzer Schmid’s drone-based inspection technology will be combined with WKA’s field personnel and rotor blade expertise to offer a turnkey solution. WKA will deploy UAVs equipped with cameras and sensors to capture and record blade defects. Project management will be supported by TEC GmbH, an industrial services specialist.

The images captured by the drones will be analyzed using artificial intelligence, and detailed, automated reports will be generated with Sulzer Schmid’s 3DX software.

“We are convinced that drone-based inspection will become the new standard in the wind industry,” says Jöns Sjöstedt, senior service director for Sweden and Finland of Vestas Northern and Central Europe. “In combination with an efficient field operation and a streamlined digital information flow, this innovative solution will add a lot of value to our customers.”

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