Drones in Renewable Energy Segment
a. Use of Drones in Wind Mill inspection-
Commercially available wind turbines generally have 8 MW capacity & rotor diameters of up to 164 meters or more. The components of wind turbines are subjected to hail, snow, lightning, rain, salt, and dust on a daily basis. A turbine blade may also subject to damage due to factors such as extreme load buckling or manufacturing defects that lead to de-bonding.
Wind turbine components are typically inspected by two methods. The most widely used method for both inspection and repair is rope access and platforms. Another method is ground-based inspection, a technique in which the blades are inspected with the help of a telephoto lens.
It is easy to monitor such windmills using Drones on regular basis & identify timely faults if any. This saves time as well as cost & makes preventive maintenance very effective. It also ensures operator’s safety for his life.
It has been observed that the inspection time can be decreased by 70% with drones, without turning off the wind turbine for prolonged times compared with manual inspections. UAV Access in hard-to-reach areas is easier, less costly and less dangerous while reducing downtime. These factors are saving money while eliminating the risk on workers in potentially dangerous locations.
b. Use of drone in Solar Panel inspection-
This renewable energy segment is flourishing with Drone Surveys. It is imperative to secure the quality of the solar power plant for adequate power generation, saving costs, and to maintain a long life of the asset.
Thermal Mapping is generally carried out using drones to recognize any fault or damage in the solar panels. Failure-free operations that have adopted cutting-edge UAV technology ensure reliability, affordability, and utmost accuracy. Drone pilots use premium drones with thermal sensors for Aerial Inspection while maintaining safety in solar farms. Drone Surveys and UAV Inspections produce superior quality data for detailed solar panel analysis.
Precise solar farm Inspection can spot cell defects, cell failure, dirt on Photovoltaic cells, Interconnection failure, Degradation of solar cells, Decrease of operational efficiency, etc. Drone data outputs include Orth mosaics and geotagged high-resolution drone photos for prompt decision-making.