Firm’s autonomous drones take photographs which are analysed with AI to find any damage
Around 120 metres high with blades that span the height of a 22-storey building, industrial wind turbines can be difficult to inspect and maintain.
Traditionally, wind turbine blade inspections were time-consuming and challenging, requiring technicians to abseil down a stationary turbine to take pictures of cracks and faults. Alternatively, someone on land had to take photographs with a telescope and camera.
To facilitate safer, faster and more accurate inspections, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has created autonomous drones and a digital solution called Hermes, which capture high-resolution images and analyses them images for potential blade damage.
The Spanish engineering firm is further improving its solution by migrating it to Microsoft Azure and using Azure artificial intelligence (AI) to process image recognition. These enhancements aim to further streamline blade inspections, helping make renewable energy more affordable and the future more sustainable.
“Hermes is taking a huge leap forward with the collaboration with Microsoft,” says Christian Sonderstrup, service chief digital officer at Siemens Gamesa. “AI, cloud and big data enable us to move to the next level of performance, in terms of innovation and in lowering the levelised cost of renewable energy.”
AI-powered blade analyses are also part of Siemens Gamesa’s goal to provide 360-degree digital coverage of customers’ turbines. According to a Microsoft article, as the firm advances its digital strategy, it is using Microsoft 365 and Azure as its IT foundation for developing new innovations that are scalable, robust and insightful.
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