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Utilities Survey and Inspection

DJM Aerial Solutions have undertaken multiple inspections within the renewable energy industry, with a broad grasp on Wind Turbines and Solar Farms. Wind turbines and their respective coating and blade inspection are imperative to operators and it is essential to maintain these massive structures accordingly.

Wind turbines are frequently hit by lightening strikes, which can cause excessive damage to the structure of the blade, other less obvious damage is caused by general erosion and wear and tear to the leading edge which can also effect the integrity.

Traditional methods of inspection can run into tens of thousands of non productive time alone, without factoring in third party rope access teams or technicians to assess the extent of any damage to the wind turbines. However, our highly experienced team of pilots can carry this out in drastically less time, utilising our recently acquired Matrice 210 RTK platform. This drone combined with our Z30 camera and XT thermal imaging solution places us well ahead of the competition, allowing us to carry out your survey in a timely manner.

We can capture the data and live feed it to our ground station allowing you to view it in real time. The pilot no longer has to fly the drone in close proximity to the asset due to its onboard 30X optical zoom – allowing the ground team to assess the asset comfortable in the knowledge that there is absolutely no risk of collision or damage to any equipment.

This drone is also more than capable of getting up close and personal with any structure or asset with minimised risk due to its RTK (REALTIME KINEMATIC). A navigational solution which remains unaffected by any magnetic interference and does not rely on GPS for stability. This allows us to inspect closely for weather damage related to the wind turbines, for instance the Nacelle, drive configuration, blades, column, rotor or hub without the need for traditional working at height methods. Essentially, this saves your company colossal amounts in revenue. Again some of this inspection can be achieved without the need for shutting down the asset.

The same methods can be used whilst inspecting solar farms. We can use our thermal imaging camera and 210 RTK to map out your solar energy product and detect any faults rapidly.

Defective solar panels give off more heat than normally functioning panels and this temperature differential can be easily measured using our XT infrared camera. Using pre-programmed waypoints means surveys can be accurately re-addressed quickly without the need to create new flight paths or manually check survey areas.

Benefits

Risk Reduction

Working at height has the biggest accident potential within industry in general, especially where working at height is a requisite. The percentage of working at height related fatalities and serious injury is phenomenal. Humans are still unfortunately human and error is inevitable.

We aim to significantly reduce the statistics.  Our drone technology completely eradicates the human factor thus the risk of a fall from height or serious injury is completely abolished.

Exceptional Ground Coverage

Generally speaking our drones can cover 25 acres in less than an hour when mapping an area. Thermal inspection of a solar farm or power transmission lines for instance would probably be a little more, however, in comparison to the traditional methods drone technology is still far more responsive with regards to timescale. Rope access inspection can also be time-consuming, both in terms of setup and duration. Scaffolding is an expensive option and may take weeks to erect. A team of three rope access technicians may take six hours to inspect the blades of a single wind turbine when a single unmanned aerial vehicle and pilot can inspect one blade an hour, reducing costs significantly.

Improved Production Efficiency

Traditional methods of inspection require shutdown of assets to allow a safer operation. Within reason our drone technology creates an opportunity where this is no longer compulsory. We are proud to own a platform that can stay well clear of the asset whilst capturing essential data using its 40 x optical zoom lens allowing pinpoint accuracy during post inspection process, providing you with a more efficient operation and better use of any maintenance budget.

Minimised Down Time

Due to the overall efficiency of drone related surveys and inspection process and given the rapid response rate in which we can be mobilised, we can detect defective components well before they require replacement allowing better planning of maintenance and superior budget assignment.