The mass inspection across Sweden and Finland has been initiated by Vestas on its own turbines and will be undertaken by collaboration between Swiss solutions company Sulzer Schmid and inspection firm WKA.
WKA will deploy drones equipped with cameras and sensors using Sulzer Schmid’s artificial intelligence technology to capture and record blade defects.
Vestas said that “time is of the essence” for the project: the blades of the 1250 turbines must be inspected by the end of June, in time for the beginning of the repair work season that traditionally takes place during the less windy summer months. This meant that a drone-based solution was the only option for such a tight timeframe.
“We are convinced that drone-based inspection will become the new standard in the wind industry,” said Jöns Sjöstedt of Vestas Northern & Central Europe.
HD images captured by the drones will be analysed aided by artificial intelligence software and detailed automated reports will be are generated.