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Using drones differently

Drones have long been used for inspection and maintenance with wind turbines, transforming the ease of access and reducing the cost of operating in this space. Now, drones can support further in improving the efficiencies of turbines through regular cleaning.

Neglecting wind turbine maintenance

Many operators are well versed in managing wind turbine downtime. What is less well managed due to limited access is sorting minor imperfections and ongoing small challenges. Real world studies have shown wind turbines naturally accumulate detritus and salt, decreasing blade performance by up to 3%.

The financial implications of this are significant, as well as the potential for aesthetic and ongoing maintenance issues, given many onshore sites struggle to fulfil their obligation to maintain clean structures. The downtime caused by corrosion and salt buildup is both costly and inefficient. Globally, offshore wind turbines lose a staggering three million production days per year due to these issues. This not only impacts financial outcomes but also the reliability and stability of renewable energy supply, creating a ripple effect of inefficiency.

Neglecting the cleanliness of wind turbines can also lead to long-term damage and increased wear and tear, further escalating maintenance costs and potentially shortening the lifespan of these costly assets. The environmental implications of reduced turbine efficiency are equally significant, leading to higher reliance on backup energy sources and increased carbon footprints.

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