During the limited time that the turbines were taken out of operation, competent technicians (CT) were able to access the nacelle and hub while the drone inspections were being carried out. This allowed the CTs to make effective use of the turbine downtime to conduct required checks and other minor works.
The advantages of using a drone for this inspection campaign include:
Lower risk than traditional rope access inspection – avoiding the need to climb up and down the turbines whilst attached to ropes, and extended periods of working at height
Non-contact – using an experienced drone pilot meant any potential contact with the blades was avoided, therefore removing the risk of damage
Less downtime – the speed of inspection meant that turbine downtime was minimised, and the full inspection campaign could be completed quicker than using rope access.