Autel Robotics New Year Special Sale 2022 Autel Robotics New Year Special Sale 2022
Drone Inspection Of Offshore Wind Farms

Drone Inspection Of Offshore Wind Farms

Wind energy is used for power generation and is an important clean and renewable energy source in the world. Building wind farms accelerates the development and utilization of wind energy. Now, the growth rate of offshore wind power has once exceeded that of land wind power. Inspection and maintenance of offshore wind farms are also essential, and drones have brought huge opportunities to the energy industry.

Why do we need drones to inspect offshore wind turbines?

drones inspect offshore wind turbines

Most of the global power generation comes from coal-fired power generation, photovoltaic, nuclear power, wind power, hydropower and other clean and renewable energy generation. The development and utilization of marine energy is still only a small part, but the growth rate can hardly be underestimated.

Drone inspection of wind turbines can fully cope with the different heights, structures and operating environments of wind turbines, inspect structural problems, save a lot of costs and improve safety.

Inspection of offshore wind turbines is more dangerous, and unpredictable weather conditions increase the risk of inspectors - not to mention the journey to get there and the fact that offshore wind turbines are taller than land wind turbines.

Inspectors can first bring drones into offshore wind farms, and launch drones for inspections under breeze conditions, fully extending the service life of facilities and improving wind turbine efficiency.

How to conduct drone offshore wind power inspections?

drone offshore wind power inspections

As a newly emerging water-related industry in recent years, offshore wind power, coupled with the harsh offshore climate environment, operation inspections are very difficult and costly, and there will also be problems with underwater structures, so regular professional operation and maintenance inspections must be carried out.

The main site for offshore wind power development is mainly located along the coast, which faces wide mudflats and shallow seabeds. This requires offshore booster stations in wind farms, pile foundation inspections, scouring and terrain inspections, and submarine cable inspections.

Drone offshore wind power inspection requires the deployment of an automatic airport on the roof of the offshore booster station, and remote control of the drone's fully automatic take-off and landing, battery replacement, and mission operations through the network;

Control the drone equipped with a zoom camera and lidar to take off from the automatic airport, and perform fully autonomous path planning and image capture of the wind turbine and the sea area near the offshore booster station;

Obtain images of wind turbine blades and sea areas taken by the drone, perform fault analysis and processing on the images through deep learning algorithms, and identify wind turbine cracks and offshore ships.

Main influencing factors of offshore wind power stations

Unlike the inspection drones of wind power stations on land, the inspection of offshore wind power stations faces more troublesome factors and is more difficult.

drone inspection of offshore wind power stations

Environmental factors: Affected by the environment, such as tides and typhoon weather, as well as wind, rain, thunder, lightning, fog, and complex underwater operating environment, underwater ocean currents, undercurrents, etc.;

Time factors: Single detection time is short, the efficiency and cost of on-site inspection by operation and maintenance ships are low, and there is no way to efficiently complete the exploration task in the face of emergencies;

Data factors: The sensors inside the wind turbine cannot identify the damage and cracks of the external blades, and the underwater structure construction work cannot be fully visualized;

Therefore, the inspection of offshore wind power stations should not only inspect the structures on the sea surface, but also the structures under the sea surface. The inspection of structures on the sea surface can be carried out by drone inspection, and the inspection of structures under the sea surface can be carried out by underwater inspection robots. Use high-tech products to assist or even replace humans to complete dangerous, heavy, and complex underwater work, and improve work efficiency and quality.

Advantages of drone inspection of offshore wind power stations:

Complete on-site automation, drones can automatically take off and land, fly, and replenish energy; it not only solves the problem of insufficient endurance of multi-rotor drones and inability to reach on-site operations, but also saves the trouble of personnel going to the site for operations.

The drone intelligently and automatically plans the flight track, determines the status of the wind turbine, including the heading angle of the wind turbine and the rotation position of the wind blades, and solves the problem of the initial relative coordinate relationship between the drone and the wind turbine and the wind blades; at the same time, it can inspect ships in the sea area near the offshore booster station and identify dangerous ships that stray into the offshore wind farm area.

The drone can automatically plan the blade inspection flight strategy according to the blade position, so that the drone inspection shooting results meet the standardization and stability requirements.

Real-time detection can be carried out through deep learning methods, defective targets can be found and marked, screenshots of new defective targets can be saved, and manual review functions can be provided, which can automatically generate wind turbine and sea area inspection reports.


Drones have a positive and effective impact on the inspection of offshore wind farms. Through on-site automation, inspection flight automation and image analysis automation, the entire offshore wind farm sea area is fully covered. As a large-scale inspection project, drone inspection of offshore wind farms requires drones to be durable, intelligent, and able to carry more payloads. The Autel Dragonfish fixed-wing drone will become an important tool for offshore wind farm inspections.

Fast Delivery

Fast Delivery

Free Shipping in the United States
Secure Checkout

Secure Checkout

Credit card, Paypal, bank transfer, installment payment
Support American after-sales point

American Returns

30-day quick returns and exchanges in USA
Irregular promotions

Irregular promotions

Subscribe to emails to enjoy occasional discounts