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Equinor Offshore Blade Inspection Campaign

Scope Overview

As part of a 3-year framework, Equinor awarded Innovair to inspect all of their offshore wind farm assets in UK waters using drone technology.

What did we do?

This includes 160 wind turbines and 3 Offshore Substations located at Sheringham Shoal, Dudgeon and Hywind Scotland Offshore, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm. Inspection campaigns focused on inspecting on the following blade components:

- Wind Turbine Components

- External Blade Inspection

- Foundations, Monopiles & Associated Structures

- 3 x Offshore Substations

Output & Reporting is provided in the form of:

- High Resolution Imagery

- Data hosted on Portal for analysis & viewing Inspection Reports

A team of 2 Inspection Engineers mobilised via CTV or SOV for each wind farm, carrying all necessary equipment to perform inspections.

Our teams visited Hywind Offshore Wind Farm first, which utilises a CTV vessel mobilised from Buckie Harbour. For Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon wind farms a similar process is followed however drone operations were mobilised from a SOV or CTV vessel.

Blade inspection drone system provides 100% coverage of the external blade structure using an automated flight path that is repeated for each blade. Each automated flight covers all four angles of the blade with no pitching required. Once all three blades are inspected, another drone flight mission is completed, capturing WTG components and foundation structure.

Data is validated post flight prior to moving onto next turbine. Offshore Substations were also inspected as part of the campaign. Due to the size of the substations, several flights were required for a thorough inspection to be carried out.

What were the results?

On average, the inspection team inspected an average of 6 turbines per day including all blades and monopiles / foundations.

Online analysis and reports were generated after the inspections, carried out by qualified blade inspectors. Reports can be exported as PDF’s or simply viewed online allowing the client to focus on critical damages, organise repairs and keep turbines running.

We can also monitor the evolution of damage over time and cross reference from different blade data sources such as internal visual data. Having all these features within the portal allows our client to extract insights, identify trends and leverage AI to prioritise repairs efficiently, allowing for robust risk assessment and maintenance planning.

What were benefits?

Using drones for offshore wind asset inspections including blade inspections adds significant value by reducing downtime and costs, especially when working at heights. Replacing traditional methods like rope access or lifting aids with drones reduces inspection time per turbine, minimising production downtime.

This alone illustrates why this technology is the go-to solution for Offshore Wind Asset Inspection.

Client Project Manager Feedback

Thanks for the work you have put in over the last month. Your flexibility and drive have got this project across the line, and it has been hugely appreciated.

Project Gallery

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Have an enquiry?

Our solutions approach means we work with you to solve your inspection problem(s). If you have a specific project you would like to discuss, reach out and we'll happily answer any questions.

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