UAV inspection is expected to increasingly complement current wind turbine blade operations & maintenance practices
A recent report from Navigant Research examines the global market for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly known as drones, for wind turbine blade inspection, including revenue forecasts by segment and region, through 2024.
At the beginning of 2015, there were nearly 270,000 individual wind turbines operating globally, each with a set of blades constantly being exposed to the elements and suffering gradual wear and tear. Deterioration of blades can cause reduced energy generation and catastrophic blade collapse, and businesses are increasingly using UAVs to help with blade inspection efforts. Click to tweet: According to a recent report from @NavigantRSRCH, annual revenue from UAV sales and services for wind turbine inspection is expected to reach $1.6 billion by 2024.
“Each individual wind turbine blade needs to be inspected at minimum once a year during a turbine’s average 20-year lifespan because blade deterioration can reduce a turbine’s ability to produce power at best and cause total system failure at worst,” says Jesse Broehl, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “UAVs can also provide quicker and less risky blade inspection than rope-based techniques when high-resolution images are essential.”
The two most significant flight limitations for the use of UAVs at a wind plant are battery life and wind speed conditions, according to the report. Commercial-grade UAVs can provide higher-resolution visuals than ground-based turbine inspections, but they generally have battery life in the one to two hour range and need to remain stable enough in gusty winds to collect usable images of blades.
The report, Drones for Wind Turbine Inspection, analyzes the global market for UAVs for wind turbine blade inspection. The study provides an analysis of the market dynamics, industry structure, and technological features driving the market for UAV hardware and inspection services. Global market forecasts for units and revenue, broken out by segment (multi-rotor UAVs and UAV inspection services) and region, extend through 2024. The report also examines the key regional regulations related to UAVs, as well as the competitive landscape. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.
Contact: Lindsay Lorenz
* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, Drones for Wind Turbine Inspection, is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.