Type of Job/Services Completed: Drone Wind Turbine Blade Inspection with Thermal Imaging

The Purpose

We provided a test project for our client to determine if lightning flashover damage to the interior shell of Vestas V136 wind turbine blades can be detected using ABJ’s proprietary WindVue technology.

Three wind turbines known to contain lightning flashover damage on at least one blade were chosen for testing. The location of flashover damage ranged from roughly 12m to 15m from the root of the blade and was always located on the suction side (leeway side).

It is assumed that lightning strikes typically hit the blade closer to the tip (often striking lighting receptors) and then traveling through the internal down conductor towards the root.

The Results

Thermal imaging indications of lightning flashover damage in the expected locations were found for two turbines. Potential indications were found in the thermal scan of the third turbine as well, but they did not match up as strongly with the supplied flashover damage report.

One possible reason for this may be that the damage in that particular blade is partially occluded by thicker materials (excess bonding glue by the shear web, external vortex generators etc).

Images and videos that we captured from the lightning flashover inspection:




Partner with ABJ Drones

We are innovators and leaders at the frontline of Drone Inspection for the Energy industry. We are always developing and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. Our inspection strategies and processes make us unique, and are not found anywhere else.

Want a more in-depth breakdown of how ABJ Drones can support your Wind Farm with a Fast, Cost-Efficient and Effective Drone Inspection? Contact us today for a free consultation.

Learn more about ABJ WindVue, our proprietary Drone Wind Turbine Inspection and Technology.