Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.
May we take this opportunity of introducing you to Drone Inspired, one of an elite group of UAV/Drone flight specialists (one of 8 licenced and registered UAV operators currently in South Africa).
As an organisation we have spent very considerable time researching the emerging UAV and IT relative technologies emerging within the global market place and are now able to offer highly professional flight and videography productions for all technical, commercial and rural applications.
At Drone Inspired, we have placed significant emphasis not only on the flight operating protocols, but also the backroom team of IT specialists, Directors of Photography to ensure that we offer a product of service excellence.
WIND TURBINE and UAV Applications
The use of UAV’s (drone’s) in the Wind Turbine industry has grown exponentially over the last few years. Equally, the application of wind turbines globally has exceeded the predicted 270 000 units by 2015 and well in excess of 800 000 “Blades” are currently in service.
The routine and specialist inspection of both the Blades and turbine unit is essential as blade degradation even in the earliest of phases is shown to notably reduce output. Of greater concern is catastrophic failure of a blade, the use of UAV/Drone technologies offers a fast and highly cost effective method of monitoring blade and turbine status on an ongoing basis.
Conventionally, inspection has been effected by Rope and Platform Teams – a highly skilled and equally dangerous method of inspection of blades which included still photography of areas of concern. The use of digital videography and photography allows for greater data manipulation in terms of blade analysis and there is no photographic degradation over time.
The advantages of UAV/Drone Application are endless, key benefits would include:
- A vastly safer maintenance environment and all technical applications are effected by drone application rather than human rope access.
- Notably more cost effective – this given a turbine can be inspected in under an hour as opposed to a minimum of 6 hours by a professionally trained team of rope inspection field operatives.
- Higher density imagery and the option to utilise infra-red and thermal imaging cameras.
- Turbine down time is kept to an absolute minimum and does not require of the inspection blades to be in any set “still” position.
- The safety component cannot be over emphasised, the application of a UAV/Drone over human scaling of dangerous towers is vastly beneficial and all UAV operators and support staff are ground based during the entire procedure.
- Extremely high productivity and Inspection quality given UAV’s utilise the latest videography and photography equipment/lenses etc.
- Technical excellence given all footage is storable in high definition (4k) and allows a Research library to be developed of sites and turbine applications.
The use of UAV/Drone technology is well advanced in Europe and the USA however the African market is a buoyant and highly dynamic initiative and it makes perfect sense for Corporates to make use of leading edge technology in ensuring good governance of plants, by definition this would imply cost effective and regular maintenance inspection.
Warranty and Insurance:
The use of this level of technology obviates the need for litigation when disaster has struck as the research data obtained over time will clearly indicate any levels of plant degradation. Insurers will have historic and current inspection data upon which to validate claims as would the manufacturers in terms of plant Warranty.
As mentioned, we are one of only 8 registered and accredited flight operators currently in South Africa and our team of specialists has undertaken considerable research into UAV/Drone application, IT support technologies and infrastructural requirements. Too often, drone applications internationally have endeavoured to provide too many divergent technical services, the key to success is to have specialist operators for each field of operation. From Drone Inspired, we believe a specialist Wind Turbine Unit is the only viable method of ensuring service excellence to client, in addition to which we offer:
- Highly qualified pilots (our Chief Pilot has over 20 years Corporate and Commercial jet flight experience internationally)
- Professional film production specialists who assist with filming operations during inspections.
- High mobility – we are able to access sites within hours of request
- We offer a time and cost saving alternative in a safe and highly professional set of operating protocols.
- Optimal Inspection quality in digital format and 4k resolution with capacity to provide data master storage should this be required. High resolution imagery is guaranteed.
- Integration of data analysis that assists processing and mitigates photographic fatigue.
- The potential for “automatic fault recognition” (in development stages currently).
We see the UAV role as one of a strategic partnership with Wind Turbine clients and as technology evolves, we adjust and incorporate new systems as they are validated. As a specialist Business Unit, we pride ourselves on service excellence and commit considerable time and cost to optimal training of pilots and support personnel.
UAV/Drone applications are growing exponentially globally and as a highly technical and specialist application, is not always suitable to Corporate in house development. Contracting out such specialist applications to Professional Drone UAV pilots is the optimal route to follow and with this technology relatively new to Africa, we are proud to offer our services to your organisation.
For further information and/or to set up a discussion forum, please do not hesitate to contact us.