ABJ Drones is currently launching WindVue, a newly developed unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that will change how wind-turbine blades are inspected in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
“The current method of inspecting wind blades is antiquated, dangerous, and costly,” said Vip Jain, CEO of ABJ Drones. “Our patented system increases efficiency for wind farms by reducing man hours and cost. As blades are safely assessed and accurate data gathered, blade damage is identified and analyzed.”
Damage to turbine blades can occur for many different reasons, including delamination due to extreme weather conditions, erosion, and lightning strikes among others. Once damaged, blades can become susceptible to other integrity issues, weakening their performance.
The ABJ WindVue system uses a weatherproof UAS that carries a complex, ultra-high-resolution camera and a specially calibrated infrared camera to gather data. ABJ’s sophisticated drone technology and proprietary thermal technology enables highly experienced pilots to see 15cm into the blade while creating detailed thermographic images, which can reveal internal structural damage not visible to the naked eye.
Inspection pilots are handpicked for their extensive knowledge and experience in aviation and practical flight capabilities. They must undergo rigorous re-training every two years in Germany that encompasses thermography, flight operations, and technical changes in the wind industry so that standards are maintained.
Once data has been gathered by inspection pilots, ABJ’s specialized data labs begin the process of turning their findings into a comprehensive report. After in-house engineers and blade experts have monitored, examined and interpreted the findings, they will put forth a recommendation to remedy any issues found.
ABJ WindVue offers thermal blade inspections as a global service, deploying specialist teams around the world.
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