Renewable UK: Cyberhawk launches special wind turbine inspection service

6. October 2015

Cyberhawk Innovations, the world leader in aerial inspection and surveying using Remotely Operated Aerial Vehicles (ROAV), also known as UAVs or drones, has marked its busiest ever year in the renewables sector with the launch of a commercial scale inspection solution for wind turbine blades.

Drone inspection solution for renewables sector

This year, Cyberhawk’s work in the renewables sector has increased tenfold as wind farm operators embrace the safety, speed and powerful asset management software that characterise the new blade inspection solution.

The launch of this service is a step-change for the renewables operations and maintenance (O&M) sector, both onshore and offshore. It combines Cyberhawk’s engineering expertise with its highly skilled drone field crews, world-class inspection center, defect measurement technique and cloud based asset management software, iHAWK.

The benefits of using drones

The benefits of using drones for data capture in the renewables sector are substantial:

  • Safety is significantly improved by minimizing the need to work at height
  • Drone Inspection speed is 3 to 4 times faster than rope access.
  • Results are delivered in both an industry-standard report format and through iHAWK.
  • Special inspection engineers and certified technicians (CT) from Cyberhawk (to avoid the expensive requirement of third party CTs).

At least Cyberhawk’s references speak for themselves. Listed are industry’s biggest names including RWE, SSE, Siemens, Vestas, Vattenfall, Dong Energy, Forewind and EDP Renewables.

Capturing entire wind farms by drone

Cyberhawk’s iHAWK Wind software enables clients to see the status of an entire wind farm at a glance, with clear traffic light color status for each area of the blade and the ability to drill into the photographic evidence behind each defect classification. iHAWK Wind also enables users to select findings from a schematic view of the blade and to intuitively view all images, including those which do not show defects, sorted by height and by blade edge or side. This comprehensive approach ensures that a full record of each asset is available and facilitates year-on-year comparison.

iHAWK is not only compatible with turbine blades, but also nacelle and towers, as well as the transition piece for offshore structures.

Unrivalled drone efficiency & productivity

The vast improvements in efficiency offered by drones are illustrated by a recent onshore project which Cyberhawk undertook for a major OEM.

One Cyberhawk field team completed more than 30 wind turbine inspections in less than two weeks, with an average downtime of only 2-3 hours per turbine, which significantly maximized the client’s turbine production time.

Cyberhawk has honed its operational capabilities over a number of years in the oil and gas, rail and utilities sectors, combining ROAV technology, highly trained pilots and experienced industry inspection engineers.  In the renewables sector, Cyberhawk now boasts turbine blade inspection engineers and certified technicians (CT) amongst its staff, meaning that its personnel can take control of the turbine. This avoids the expensive requirement of third party CTs, which again improves value for the customer and ensures a more efficient service.

Experience & knowledge for wind turbine inspection service

Craig Roberts, CEO at Cyberhawk, said: “Our wind turbine inspection service combines Cyberhawk’s extensive inspection experience with our knowledge of renewables, gained through recruitment of key personnel and years spent delivering met mast inspections and developing our wind turbine blade inspection solution.”

“The advantages of using drones are being quickly realized by the renewables industry. Technicians only need to climb the assets that require attention, and the requirement to work at height is reduced, if not eliminated in many cases.”

“With a shorter overall setup and inspection time and quicker, more accurate results, drones have huge potential within the wind sector.”

iHawk Wind as game-changer

“Although we’ve been able to get great images of turbine blades for several years, the game-changer this year is the deployment of our iHAWK Wind software and new field techniques, which enable us to accurately size defects and locate them on the blade from root and leading edge.  This approach delivers both the standard wind turbine page-per-anomaly format and a new, innovative iHAWK asset management experience.”

“We’re excited that we can deliver an unprecedented level of detail on their wind turbine generator in a cost effective, easy to access manner.”

“iHAWK marks a ground-breaking step for the onshore and offshore wind sector and the next generation of asset management for this constantly evolving industry. With drones becoming increasingly adopted for commercial purposes, we expect the uptake of this new service to continue to grow rapidly.”

Cyberhawk @ Renewables UK

Cyberhawk is exhibiting at Renewable UK this week (6-8 October 2015) on stand 13. Visit our team to find out more about our wind turbine blade inspection service, as well as our survey offering for the renewables sector. Some highlights:

  • The launch of the new drone-based wind turbine inspection service for the wind sector, to be revealed on Day 1 of the show.
  • Cyberhawk will also be on Stand 13 throughout the exhibition, so be sure to visit and find out more about our drone inspection and survey solutions specifically for the wind sector.

Please note: Ascending Technologies develop and produce multirotor and autopilot technology, but provide no service. For further information please directly contact Cyberhawk:

+44 (0)1506 592187 /// ///