Drone based Inspections
Our drone based inspections for on- and offshore wind turbines do not require specialized pilots due to our AI enabled software. The contactless lightning protection measurement completes our unique offer.
Whether for initial or recurring inspections, todays inspections of wind turbines are personnel intensive and requires long-term planning due to limited resources. Drone based inspections improve the situation, but until now they have to be performed by specialist pilots and the generated image material is difficult to analyze. TOPseven has the solution for all these problems.
Minimum training required
The autonomously flying drone doesn’t require a specialized pilot. Thus, a short training is sufficient to get started. Industry standard damage characterization analysis and reporting results are stored and made available for the customer in the TOPseven cloud.
Our technology enables our customers to perform independent autonomous inspections. No specialized drone pilots are required to fly an entire wind turbine automatically. After an initial minimum training by TOPseven, the inspection will be carried out by the customer without any prior specialist knowledge. This avoids personnel bottlenecks, customers can plan the inspections and freely schedule them. Industry standard damage characterization analysis and reporting results are stored, processed and made available in the TOPseven cloud.
Efficient, flexible & transparent
For the visual inspection of all blades and the tower, as well as the contactless inspection of the lightning protection, the wind turbine only needs to be stopped once. The inspection will be easily performed by the customer himself with minimum downtime of the wind turbine.
In the event of weather-related disruptions, the drone can automatically resume the inspection at the exact same position at another time. This minimizes interruption times and avoids inspection rescheduling.
Through historical data logging at the exact same position allows the observance of any anomalies development.
The time required for TOPseven to inspect all 3 blades and tower is only 160 minutes – an additional 20 minutes for lightning protection measurement. Including preparation of the drone and final upload of the data, a complete inspection of all areas takes approximately 3 hours. This short time is not achievable by industrial climbers or by experienced drone pilots. Not only shorter inspection flights, but also long-term observation during the lifetime of the wind park. Any damage detected is logged in the TOPseven cloud with exact position data, the drone is therefore always able to automatically re-fly to the exact same position and deliver comparative historical images.
The AI controlled camera delivers seamless, high quality images with minimal overlapping and a resolution of 3 pixels/mm. The images and data from the inspection are automatically uploaded to the TOPseven cloud and processed there. Industry-standard damage characterization is used for the analysis and modular reporting. 3D-models of the visual inspections of blade and tower are automatically generated without any image stitching. The images are made available to the customer at any time, the data remains the property of the customer.
Contactless lightning protection measurement
The TOPseven contactless lightning protection measurement takes only a few minutes. Possible defects are identified and located by special sensors.
A TOPseven designed signal generator injects various high-frequency signals into the blades 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 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 a weak or no signal at the blades tip.
In this case the drone flies an autonomous search pattern to detect the exact location where the electrical field is interrupted.
Scope of supply and services
- Automated, drone-based visual blade inspections of a wind turbine, delivering high quality images with minimal overlapping, images from all four sides of the blade (360 degree view with a resolution of 3 pixel/mm and 3D model view of the blade), performed by the customer personal
- Automated, drone-based visual tower inspection of a wind turbines including high quality minimal overlapping images with 8 x 45° photos and a 3D model view of the tower, performed by the customer personal
- Automated, drone based, contactless inspection of the lightning protection of a blade, as well as the exact localization of the interruption of the lightning protection, performed by the customer personal
- Free use of the TOPseven software for controlling and planning inspections, as well as the analysis of images to determine possible damages and the creation of a industry-standard based report
- Free customer training by TOPseven including short manual and a detailed documentation