Nordex Group has formed a partnership with Lufthansa Aerial Services (LAS) for drone-supported inspection of its wind turbines. The manufacturer intends to draw on the experience of a global aviation expert that has know-how in research, development, and automation and itself uses drone-assisted inspections in the construction industry or for aircraft.
For Nordex Service customers this offers additional possibilities for continuously monitoring the status of rotor blades using the very latest technology.
One important area of application for drone technology is the close-up inspection of rotor blades without the need for rope teams. Rotor blades have to be inspected regularly as they are exposed to the wind, weather, and considerable strains and in this way might develop wear from erosion.
With the aid of the services offered by LAS, the Nordex Group can develop and implement timely and specific service and repair instructions. Furthermore, by collecting a large amount of data the manufacturer can monitor the aging of the turbines and find out for each specific type at which intervals a rotor blade has to be inspected or serviced with a view to preventive maintenance.
“Lufthansa Aerial Services is an ideal partner for the Nordex Group. LAS is able to draw on the many years of experience of the Lufthansa Group in aviation, especially in the maintenance of complex systems,” said Bo Moerup, Head of Global Service of the Nordex Group. “On the basis of the large quantity of very precise data that LAS will provide us with on the regular inspection flights, we will be able to make detailed analyses and optimize our turbines and our service. This will bring us even closer to our target of a lower cost of energy.”
LAS is a new division in the Lufthansa Group and belongs to Lufthansa Consulting GmbH. It offers the commercial operation of drones and related data management for the inspection, measurement, and monitoring of infrastructures. Wind energy is one of the industrial sectors on which LAS focuses.
“The market potential for commercial drone use in the wind energy sector is growing rapidly. Thanks to the partnership with a strong company like Nordex, we can develop innovative solutions that meet the requirements of the wind industry in the best possible way,” said Dr. Andreas Jahnke, Managing Director of Lufthansa Consulting GmbH.
He added: “And apart from the close-up inspection of rotor blades, monitoring the progress of the construction of new wind farms is another area of application.”
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