[Watch] Use of Cargo Drones in Offshore Wind Operations

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To bring the spare parts warehouse closer to the service technicians, offshore wind developer Ørsted and logistics company DSV has teamed up to investigate the use of cargo drones on offshore wind farms as reported by OE Digital.

Unique replacements 

Ørsted said: “The service experts and required spare parts are typically transported by ship because offshore wind farms generally are situated far from the coast. The tools and parts for the wind turbines that are frequently needed are brought by the technicians, but if unique replacement parts are required, they must return to land. The repairs are frequently put off until the next day because this is both expensive and time-consuming. As an alternative, cargo drones can provide logistics support, particularly for minor spare components, which will help wind turbines restart much faster.”

Offshore Substations First

“The drones are fueled by renewable electricity and will fly independently to the offshore substation, but we’re aiming to test the drones on flights to the wind turbines at a later stage,” said Klaus Baggesen Hilger, Head of Operations Digital & Innovation at Ørsted. The amount of clean energy produced can be increased by reducing wind turbine downtime and having access to timely and effective spare parts delivery. Additionally, the carbon emissions produced by running offshore wind farms are decreased at the same time.

The overseas tests from the Port of Grenaa to the location of the Anholt offshore wind farm are the first of their kind, according to Ørsted.

Over the course of two weeks, the test flights will show that the drone is capable of transporting parts from Ørsted’s operations base in the Port of Grenaa to the offshore substation 25 km offshore, as well as maybe to the wind turbines.

An electric drone with a range of 100 km and a payload capacity of 2.5 kg will be used for the trials. The trials’ purpose is to determine whether using cargo drones as a practical logistical augmentation for the several operating offshore wind farms by Ørsted is feasible.

Both Danish drone operator Holo and Swiss drone supplier RigiTech, both of whom specialise in autonomous mobility systems, have been hired by DSV. The drone test flights will be supported by RigiTech and Holo.

 

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Source: OE Digital

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