ABJ WindVue©: A Proprietary Technology for Drone Wind Turbine Blade Inspections

Regular preventative maintenance can significantly extend the viable lifespan of turbines and ensure that they output maximum power in all conditions. Inspecting them presents a challenge, however, as they are tall structures and the internal structure of the blades can develop structural problems that may be invisible from the outside.

Drone automation and effective wind turbine inspections

We inspect up to 15 cm deep into a wind turbine blade with Proprietary Thermal Technology

Proprietary Drone and Asset Management Technology


Benefits of Wind Turbine Inspections with ABJ Drones

  • Higher-resolution visual drone inspections than ground-based inspections

  • Greatly reduce man hours and costs by automating inspections

  • Safely assess the condition and orientation of all components of wind turbines

  • Wind farm remains functional during inspection

  • Increase efficiency due to data accuracy and reliability, live streaming and zoom/thermal/4k capabilities

  • Drones collect the needed data for identifying and mitigating risks in power distribution in advance

  • 30 – 50% cost and timing saving when doing a drone wind turbine inspection

  • Safety of personnel – no need for them to ascend to height

  • Real-time images and video feed can be transmitted to ground control station

  • Thermal and LIDAR can be used to aid in inspecting and monitoring wind turbine blades and the general structure

Disadvantages of Traditional Methods

Disadvantages of Traditional Inspections

The traditional way to do a wind turbine inspection was to stop the turbine with a blade in the six o’clock position, then operatives were lowered down the blade from the top on ropes or cables and they would knock on the blade to estimate the soundness of the material.

These methods have several disadvantages and consequences:

  • It takes a long time to repeat this for all three blades

  • The knocking system is very subjective and prone to error

  • Often, wind noise makes it hard to estimate the condition of the blade

  • The turbine is out of use for hours, and valuable income is lost

  • Operatives are put at unnecessary risk by being forced to work at height

  • Faulty and damaged wind turbines can be catastrophic in terms of financial loss, but also in respect to the safety of personnel and the public


ABJ Drones Stays Ahead of The Drone Market for Wind Turbine Blade Inspections

Our experienced pilots are re-trained every 2 years in Germany so that their standards are maintained with drone wind turbine inspections. Using our process allows for a non-contact wind turbine blade inspection with the help of thermographic images. Visually, no errors can be detected in the wind turbine blade from the naked eye. But, a thermal imaging camera reveals the internal structure of an intact blade which shows crucial details about the blades during the inspection process. ABJ Drones has effective thermal imaging and LiDAR techniques, and proprietary air frames to capture engineering-grade levels of accuracy for use in detailed point clouds and analytics for generations. Including, geo tagging to localize specific area of inspection (AOI) and a proprietary back end processing solution to enable companies with instant sourcing and identification.


ABJ’s Proprietary Technology

  • The ABJ WindVue© system utilises the fact that the internal structure of a wind turbine blade heats and cools at different rates. By measuring these small differences using a highly sophisticated, specially calibrated infrared camera on our special drones, we can gather this information rapidly, needing the turbine to be stopped for only minutes instead of hours.
  • Inspect up to 15 cm deep into a wind turbine blade
  • Using thermal energy from wind friction to allow for high resolution thermography
  • Visualizing layers of lamination and beam structure inside the wind turbine blade for in-depth inspection of blade structure
  • Only available and proven technology for enhanced wind turbine blade inspection

ABJ’s Proprietary Drone

  • A Sophisticated, Weatherproof Drone to Inspect the Wind Turbines
  • The drone carries a complex package of instruments including an ultra-high resolution, 60MB camera and a bespoke, highly specialised infrared camera.
  • The drone used for inspection has triple modular redundancy and diagnostic algorithms that match the sensor data of the three GNSS units.  
  • Additional analytical redundancies result in a total of six reliable redundancy units.  
  • The additional use of a D-RTK-GNSS system makes the drone immune to magnetic interference and enables the drone to be accurate to the nearest centimetre.  
  • The drone can be controlled and landed even with a failure of up to two propellers or even 2 batteries.
  • High wind speeds (15 m/s to 20m/s)
  • Automation (including distance tracking and collision avoidance)
  • Higher safety and reliability in the field (rain-proof, modular, upgradable)

ABJ RFID Asset Management

We upload the gathered data to our central processing facilities where the information is monitored, manipulated and interpreted. The result is a detailed, easy to understand report that includes an x-ray like image of the blade.

  • Decrease data collection time  
  • Reduce or eliminate human data entry errors Improve asset inventory quality
  • Diminish cycle time
  • Reduce repeated site visits
  • Improve accuracy of assets
  • Customizable API with 98 % suitability with established CRM or depository  

This includes assets in warehouses, picked up by contractors, in technicians’ trucks, deployed at sites, decommissioned, identify assets for resale and reduce capital assets

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