"The use of drones for wind turbine blade inspection is proving to be more than a novelty," says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "Current inspection techniques from the ground and by rope or platform access will not be replaced; however, they will increasingly be augmented by drone inspections, which bring certain advantages."
The emerging wind turbine UAV market is driven by the massive number of blades that need to be inspected for normal deterioration and for pre-end-of-warranty inspections, according to the report. If uninspected, deterioration caused by the elements to the more than 800,000 blades in operation can result in reduced energy production and blade collapse, which could have catastrophic effects.
An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.
Source: Navigant Research
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