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Drone Thermography North East / Drone Thermal Inspection UK and the effects that this innovative technology can have on industry.
How Drones are using Thermal Cameras to Inspect and help Maintain Assets in the Renewable Energy Industry. | Drone Thermal Inspection UK
Drones, as we talk about so regularly and consistently in our news feeds, are fast becoming the buzz word of the century, and why not? Their uses within any industry are phenomenal from crop scouting to search and rescue, to drone thermal inspection UK, drones are continuously surpassing their predictions. It seems like drones are a never-ending source of technology with one manufacturer taking the lead over the next within weeks of each other. A continuous race to the top.
Drones are now so advanced that thermal imaging cameras can be attached to a common gimbal on the machine and remotely operated from the same or a second controller allowing for precise drone thermal inspection from an FPV perspective. Whilst a continuous RGB feed is produced simultaneously.
What Benefit can Thermal Imaging Technology combined with Drones have on Industry?
Drone Thermography cameras can drastically reduce downtime and none productive time in any heavy industry utilising rotating equipment or power generation. This is primarily down to their ability to detect early defective components in any equipment producing energy either as a primary utility or a byproduct of power generation. Essentially resulting in improved production and a focused budget assignment. Drone thermal inspection is ideally suited to situations where drone thermography at height is a preferred method over utilising manned inspection techniques.
What Industries can Drone Thermal Inspection currently work with?
drone thermal inspection and Imaging capabilities are currently having a huge impact on the renewable energy industry. Solar farms are currently embracing drone thermography and Solar panels require regular maintenance and inspection to allow for continued performance and production, defective cells within solar panels are common, essentially having a negative impact on production.
Drones can be in the air within minutes of arriving on site and flying a predetermined mission capturing the essential thermal data and feeding it back to a ground station live. A defective cell in a solar panel is clear as day amongst a bank of operational cells and can be pinpointed instantly. This saves copious man hours on foot allowing the client to concentrate their time elsewhere.
Wind turbine energy companies are also embracing drone thermography capabilities to inspect for any breakdown in insulation around motors and components. When components begin to fail they produce heat as their internals start to deteriorate. For example, if a bearing begins to fail due to prunella or lack of maintenance, the friction generated will produce a discernible heat signature in contrast to it’s surrounding components. Obviously, if this is the case then the bearing or component is possibly too far gone and the asset should be shut down. This is where drone thermal inspection comes into play. DJM Aerial Solutions aim to reduce these statistics by providing a full drone thermal inspection of the asset. This combined with RGB imagery from the standard sensor can provide enough weighted data, providing improved planned maintenance strategies creating trends and resulting in superior maintenance standards.
Are there any other industries that would immediately benefit from drone thermography?
Not only renewable energy industries but any industry that produces energy either as a primary or as a byproduct could benefit from drone thermography, The National Power Grid is a prime example of this currently using rope access technicians to inspect for defects in power transmissions, drones thermography could have a drastic impact on how these thermal inspections are currently carried out.
Pipeline operators could also utilise drone tech. For instance searching for leaks within a pipeline can become almost impossible in some cases, dependent on the severity and medium that is being transferred. One thing is certain if a leak is apparent then a pressure differential or Delta P is also, which again produces the characteristic heat signature.
Search and Rescue is another big industry that could benefit from thermal technology and drones. The traditional method for search and rescue or surveillance is currently to use manned aviation typically a helicopter with thermal imaging capabilities. This is not only expensive but extremely time consuming. Obviously pre flight checks, air traffic control permissions, flight lengths and fuel consumption are all a big concern. Thats without taking into consideration, time consumed reaching the required location.
A drone with a thermal camera can be off the ground in minutes providing similar benefits but a lot more cost effective. Manned aviation certainly has its place in search and rescue and the drone solution is definitely not an alternative replacement but could quite possibly supplement first responders.
Aerial thermal cameras could assist the fire department whilst fighting fires. A drone with radiometric thermal imaging camera could pin point the heat source of a fire, which is where the fire department are required to target whilst extinguishing to effectively tackle the blaze. Occasionally this can be hit and miss and could cost vital minutes. An aerial live thermal feed can accurately display the source of heat with a live feed back to the ground commander allowing accurate radiometric data display.
The Petro-chemical industry could utilise aerial thermography during regular inspection of flare stacks and pilot ignition systems. Generally visual audits are carried out by rope access personnel and the data relayed back to project engineer at ground level. Drones and attached thermal sensors could provide a live feed back to the project engineer allowing for accurate decision making. There is also an option to prevent shut down. Dependent on the client requirements a drone could measure the differential in heat from each nozzle or pilot ignition source.