This case study outlines a collaborative project between Highland Access Ltd and Airtech Integrity Ltd to carry out coating inspections on an offshore wind farm in Scotland. Utilising advanced drone technology, the project brought both efficiency and innovation to the maintenance of offshore energy infrastructures.
Location: Offshore wind farm, Scotland
Task: Inspection of 3 wind turbine jackets and 2 substation jackets
Technology Used: DJI M300 drone equipped with H20T thermal camera
Mode of Operation: Manual control from a Crew Transfer Vessel (CTV)
1. Preparation: Highland Access Ltd, in collaboration with Airtech Integrity Ltd, assembled a specialised team, including a NACE-certified coating inspector.
2. Inspection Technique: Utilising the DJI M300 drone with the H20T thermal camera, offshore inspections were carried out manually from a CTV. The NACE inspector used external monitors to identify areas of interest and guide the pilot accordingly.
3. Execution: Detailed inspections of the 3 turbine and 2 substation jackets were performed successfully.
Efficiency: The drone technology reduced inspection times significantly, showcasing the potential to replace traditional inspection methods.
Safety & Accuracy: The ability to control the offshore inspections from a CTV enhanced safety and provided detailed insights into the condition of the coatings.
To validate the inspection technique and build confidence among stakeholders, a demonstration was organised at the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine. The workflow of the inspection was shown, highlighting the accuracy, efficiency, and safety of the process. This demonstration allowed potential clients and industry experts to witness firsthand the quality and robustness of the offshore inspection technique.
This project led to a successful and innovative approach to coating inspections. By implementing advanced drone technology, they not only ensured more effective and accurate inspections but also significantly improved safety and efficiency. The success of the project at the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine further proved the credibility and potential of this novel approach for future applications in the offshore energy sector.