Wien Energie uses drones for the maintenance of wind farms, photovoltaic systems, district heating pipes and industrial chimneys. As a result, system downtimes can be reduced and maintenance excavations avoided.
Inspections make an important contribution to the sustainable operation and the efficiency of technical installations. For the visual inspection of those installations, drones are very welcome as they can reduce the number and the duration of downtimes.
Innovation Challenge to Cooperation
In the field of drone maintenance Wien Energie is cooperating with the start-ups Skyability and Birds.ai. The service developed in 2017 from the first Innovation Challenge of Wien Energie and today is a fully-fledged business model. The smart drones are used for wind farms, photovoltaic systems, for the maintenance of district heating pipes and industrial chimneys..
The process is relatively similar across all applications: During maintenance, images are collected using RGB and thermography cameras and can be tracked live. Subsequently, the data is analysed with the support of artificial intelligence and possible damages can be identified.
The data is archived in a database in order to serve as a reference for later and other inspections. Changes on the surface and inside of e.g. photovoltaic panels, can thus be detected, documented and classified over longer periods of time.
Within the city drones are used for the maintenance of district heating pipes. The thermography cameras detect leakages and thus unnecessary excavations can be avoided. This saves effort, costs and annoyance – if the roads would have to be closed for example.
The advantages of drone maintenance
- objective assessment and forecast by means of artificial intelligence
- increased safety at work through rapid data collection
- minimising downtimes
- improvement of system documentation
- errors can be monitored and changes detected automatically
- ensuring the quality of service through TÜV Austria certification
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