Wind

Being a leader in technological advancements the Renewable Energy sector has embraced the use of automated services for some time. Recognising this Vantage UAV bring cutting edge technologies to this sector to further improve the provision of data, enabling the implementation of pre-emptive maintenance programmes.

Revolutionising the renewable sector, one drone-based inspection at a time.

Vantage UAV began in 2017 specializing in the renewables industry; having grown and learned alongside the sector, the company is well-acquainted with its challenges- and well-equipped with solutions.

Vantage drone-based turbine inspection services DETECT damages and defects, DELIVER high-quality, actionable data & DECREASE risk, cost, environmental damage, and downtime- whatever the size of your portfolio.

Combining innovative UAV technology with end-to-end solutions and support from a team with extensive industry experience, Vantage equip and inform clients, making it easy to monitor, maintain and prolong assets.

DETECT

Vantage UAV drone-based optical and thermal inspection services perform thorough and accurate surveys on onshore and offshore assets, detecting defects and damages and collecting high-quality data.

Optical blade Inspection

Thermal Blade Inspection

DELIVER

Sky to Cloud data reporting system

High-quality data collected during inspections is relayed in clear, annotated reports, digitally formatted to be accessed conveniently from a desk, providing actionable information to clients so that they can manage assets efficiently. Our data storage and reporting solutions offer:

Full, turn-key solutions and support

Vantage UAV deliver turnkey solutions from full project management, flight planning, piloting, and comprehensive support, from initial consultation to final report. Our range of services and industry experts allow us to craft bespoke solutions to asset management and data provision challenges.

Vantage collaborate with clients closely in order to understand their challenges, workflow, aims and provide the best solutions. Support is always readily available, from real people, whenever you need it.

DECREASING COST, TIME, RISK, ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE. WHY CHOOSE VANTAGE?

The renewables industry has grown exponentially; in the UK alone, electricity generated from Windpower produced 24% of the country’s total electricity in 2020. By 2025, renewables are set to become the largest source of electricity, globally. 

A growing renewable capacity has brought growing infrastructural and maintenance challenges. The wind sector is innovative in its use of technology to harness natural power sources, yet failure to extend this progressive approach to maintenance and inspection limits the potential of the renewable agenda and its assets.

Faster, safer, and more efficient than traditional inspection methods, Vantage drone-based inspections can revolutionize the renewable industry and offer solutions to its challenges. To find out more, see below!

How our drones do good

Cost

Challenge

Operation and maintenance costs can amount to 10-20% of the net cost of energy for a wind project and for offshore windfarms, 25-30% of the lifetime cost of a project.

However, without preventative maintenance, turbine failure can cost up to $30,000 per turbine, per year- not including the cost of downtime. 

Inspections are key to identifying defects and preventative maintenance needs, but traditional methods are expensive, requiring multiple technicians, access equipment and insurance costs. Furthermore, current methods often fail to detect sub-surface damage or minute faults, preventing mitigation before they escalate to high-cost repairs or turbine failure.

Solution

Studies have found that replacing manual inspections with remotely piloted drones could reduce inspection costs by up to 70% and revenue lost due to downtime during inspection up to 90%! 

Vantage drone-based inspections immediately reduce the cost of hiring multiple technicians, insurance, access equipment, and lengthy inspection times. Long-term, thermal and optical drone inspections reliably detect external and sub-surface damages, enabling pre-emptive maintenance to be carried out before large scale repairs are required- decreasing costs and downtime. 

Time

Challenge

Manual inspection is a lengthy process involving considerable downtime with each inspection taking 3-6 hours, per turbine. Turbines are non-operational whilst technicians access heights and harsh environments, visually inspect the structure, and record data by hand.

In addition, manual inspections are often unable to detect sub-surface damages and recommend preventative maintenance to avoid unplanned turbine failure, which research suggests can cost up to 7 days of lost production, further increasing downtime and decreasing operational yield.

Solution

Vantage drone-based inspections can take as little as 40 minutes, per turbine, which means more inspections are possible in less time- dramatically reducing downtime relative to traditional methods. Thorough and accurate assessment and data provision enables prompt execution of preventative maintenance, avoiding turbine failure or large-scale repairs if minor faults go undetected.

Vantage solutions are scalable, with the potential to conduct multiple inspections simultaneously via drone fleets, further reducing time, cost, and increasing the efficiency of the inspection process.

Data quality and collection

Challenge

Currently, asset owners rely on manual or ground/photographic inspections to assess turbines; both methods offer poor, insufficient data provision and analysis.

Manual inspection is hazardous, and visibility is often poor due to harsh weather conditions; small defects and sub-surface damages can go undetected meaning pre-emptive action cannot be taken and costly, time-consuming repairs can occur later down the line.

Ground-based/photographic inspections are unable to access and accurately assess all areas of a turbine and collect poor-quality data in shadowy areas, or fast-moving parts, like the blade tip. Detecting and measuring damage is difficult as images capture a range of different angles, resulting in a disjointed view.

Solution

Vantage Optical/Thermal Blade inspections offer accurate, rapid identification of both external defects and initially invisible sub-surface defects, enabling repairs or pre-emptive maintenance to prevent damage worsening, causing high costs or failure. Drone inspections enable full access and analysis of assets and data storage provides ongoing measurement and monitoring of pre-existing and potential issues.

Safety

Challenge

SafetyOn reported over 500 safety incidents on UK onshore wind farms in 2020. Yet, the risk to technicians is unnecessary and avoidable.

Wind turbines are designed to exist in hard-to-reach, harsh environments, such as hills, mountains, or offshore, to harness extreme weather for energy production. This poses a risk to personnel who use boats or helicopters to access turbines before climbing onto them to conduct inspections.

Solution

Vantage drone-based turbine inspections remove the unnecessary risk to technicians, using unmanned UAV aircrafts capable of accessing and withstanding inhospitable environments and gathering high-quality data on assets.

Drones do not replace workers; technicians are needed to perform key maintenance works, but drone-based inspections ensure personnel access is targeted and necessary. Keep workers safely on the ground- leave us to do the flying around!

Environment

Challenge

Traditional methods of inspection require the use of helicopters, cranes, access vehicles and additional assets like scaffolding, which use fuel and produce waste. The increased downtime associated with the manual inspection process also negatively impacts renewable yield.

The inability of manual inspection methods to reliably detect sub-surface or minute damage before it worsens indirectly impacts the environment as old, damaged turbine blades often end up in landfills. Wind Europe estimates that by 2025, around 25,000 tons of blades a year will be decommissioned in Europe, rising to 52,000 tons a year by 2030. 

Solution

As of today, there is 743 GW of wind power capacity worldwide, helping to avoid over 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2 worldwide. The renewable industry holds incredible potential for the environment and future of the planet- but this depends upon the operational efficiency of turbines.

Vantage drone-based inspections reliably detect damage before it escalates, enabling action to be taken to extend turbine longevity and yield. Drone-based inspections reduce downtime and ensure operational integrity, keeping turbines turning, out of landfill, reducing carbon emissions and optimizing the renewable agenda!

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