Efficient and cost-saving through AI-assisted drone technology by TOPseven
TOPseven has developed a unique method for contactless lightning protection measurement of wind turbines, onshore & offshore. The inspection is carried out with an autonomously flying drone equipped with special sensors. A possible defect can be precisely localized – in just a few minutes. The technology was granted a European patent (EP 3 596 570) on July 21, 2021, 5 years after filing.
Intelligent drones check lightning protection without contact in just a few minutes. After a short training you can carry out the lightning protection measurement completely independently.
How the contactless lightning protection measurement works
TOPseven uses a professional industrial drone, the DJI M300, for the patented procedure. The drone is equipped with special sensors that can precisely locate the defect. A TOPseven designed signal generator injects various high-frequency signals into the blade’s lightning conductor. The international patented process generates an electrical field with different frequencies and matching impedance values. The frequencies used lie in the ISM bands.
The counterpart is a highly sensitive 3D electrical field sensor with extremely low bandwidth and a high sampling rate. The special TOPseven designed sensor payload is attached to the drone. The lightning conductor is damaged or interrupted if the sensor measures are weak or no signal at the tip of the blade. In this case, the drone flies an autonomous search pattern to detect the exact location where the electrical field is interrupted.
SIGNAL GENERATOR AND PAYLOAD FIELD SENSOR: THE POWERFUL DUO FOR YOUR COST-EFFECTIVE AND SAFE LIGHTNING PROTECTION MEASUREMENT.
Our patented process automatically adjusts the impedance of the lightning conductor (dependent on the length of the blade) to the signal generator.
The signal generator has three outputs that all three blades can be connected simultaneously. For the measurement, the signal supply into the blades can be individually externally controlled.
This is a highly sensitive 3D electrical field sensor with extremely low bandwidth and a high sampling rate. The sensor measures the intensity of the electricity near field in three dimensions at a 10 Hz sampling rate. The received signals are evaluated via a Fourier analysis, which generates precise results about the state of the lightning protection and, in case of an interruption, its exact position.
VALIDATED AND VERIFIED BY TÜV SÜD
With its independent validation and verification, TÜV SÜD has confirmed that the measuring system is suitable as an alternative test method for the section of the lightning protection system of a wind turbine that extends from the receptors (lightning arresters) to the blade flanges of the rotor blades in accordance with the technical guidelines of the German Federal Wind Energy Association.
Book a demo flight!
We will show you the power of our automated drone-based on-site inspection. Fill out our contact form without obligation or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.