SkySpecs, an award-winning provider of robotics solutions for the wind energy industry, has successfully completed an automated inspection of the world’s largest offshore wind turbine at Ørsted‘s (formerly DONG Energy) Burbo Bank Extension, in the Irish Sea. Ørsted says the testing and automated inspection of the 8-MW offshore turbine was an important step in gaining confidence that drone technology has the potential to be rolled out on all larger sized wind turbines.
“Providing consistent image quality across the largest turbines offshore is challenging and requires consistency from the drone,” said David-Lee Jones, Ørsted’s Senior Technical Project Lead. “This was the purpose of our work with SkySpecs. We really wanted to validate that their technology could provide the type of precise and robust inspection capabilities that Ørsted expects.”
The data SkySpecs collected will be used to evaluate the condition of the 80-meter turbine blades as well. The company’s turbine-inspection solution includes:
- Fully automated robotic inspections of wind turbine blades that take less than 15 minutes from start to finish;
- Automatic data upload to their software product, Horizon, that classifies images by damage type and severity;
- An advanced feature set in Horizon that includes repair planning workflows, analytics dashboards, and insights that enable users to spot trends, project repair costs, and determine ROI.
“We are pleased that we’ve helped Ørsted move ahead with their goals,” said SkySpecs’ CTO Tom Brady. “As an organization, we are committed to applying robotic solutions to solve challenges faced by the renewable energy. We’re helping owners craft their predictive maintenance strategies with a mountain of blade data and analytics tools that help them understand the health of their fleet.”
Ørsted currently has offshore projects under development in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia. The company says it is using its expertise to help build a mature, technologically advanced U.S. offshore wind industry – creating jobs and continuing to push the global industry forward.