Statoil has hired a drone specialist to inspect all turbine blades on the Sheringham Shoal wind farm off Norfolk, UK.
The Norwegian energy company partnered with Martek Aviation to inspect all 264 blades across the 88 offshore locations on the Sheringham Shoal.
Throughout August 2017, 200 UAS (Unmanned Aircraft System) flights were deployed, taking 8 minutes each to collect the relevant data and allowing Statoil to instantly assess the condition of their assets on site, Martek Aviation said.
Due to the advancements in UAS technology, the challenges faced with traditional inspection methods are being transformed into a safer and more streamlined data collection process, the company said.
Previously, blade turbine inspections were performed from the ground using a camera for visual inspections or by human rope access. The use of drones has removed the requirement to climb the turbine by flying from the 40-meter vessel, according to Martek Aviation.
The 317MW Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm is located between 17 and 23 kilometres off the coast of North Norfolk.
The wind farm consists of 88 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 3.6MW, which were put into operation in 2012.