Provider in industry-level computer vision solutions, Clobotics, has announced a global strategic partnership with GEV Wind Power, one of the largest wind operations and maintenance (O&M) companies in Europe in order to deliver AI-based autonomous blade inspections for wind turbines.
Courtesy of Clobotics
The global partnership will use Clobotics pioneering artificial intelligence solutions to deliver the blade inspections, fuelling the ongoing digitalisation of the global wind O&M market. The partnership will cover all the regions GEV currently serves, bringing Clobotics’ solutions to a broad swath of the globe, including Europe, Africa and North America.
With Clobotics Smart Wind, the autonomous drone flies around the turbine and builds a 3D picture of all the blades, capturing high resolution images as it flies, and then lands back to the starting point upon completion. Inspection is done in minutes, rather than hours. Images of blades are then automatically analyzed, annotated, and reported on the cloud-based customer portal the very next day. Using the portal, customers can easily track the entire lifecycle of turbines, see the progression of damage and view trend reports on individual turbines or their entire fleet.
“By combining deep industry expertise, a premiere global network and advanced AI technology, Clobotics and GEV are taking the lead in capturing the next wave of growth in this multi-billion-dollar market” said George Yan, chief executive officer of Clobotics.
David Fletcher, managing director of GEV Wind Power, added that the company has been looking to add autonomous blade inspection to its range of product offerings but recognised that this requires enterprise-level expertise in AI technologies, which is very hard to come by.
GEV Wind Power is one of Europe’s most experienced turbine maintenance companies, with a significant presence around the globe servicing 130 wind farms across 13 countries throughout Europe and 17 wind farms in North America, with more than 3000 wind turbines repaired. GEV is recognized as a trusted partner by many global top turbine manufacturers such as Siemens Gamesa, GE, and Nordex. Backed by GEV’s extensive global clientele, Clobotics will quickly penetrate the three largest wind markets: Europe, US, and China.
The global wind energy market experienced double-digit annual growth over the last decade, creating a multibillion-dollar O&M market growing more rapidly with aging turbines. Analysts estimate that the global wind O&M market grew from $2.12 billion in 2006 to $13.74 billion in 2016, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 20.6 percent. Analysts are anticipating the market reaching $27.4 billion by 2025, but this estimate does not account for the great potential that autonomous drones, enabled-by-AI, is generating. Clobotics’ advancements in artificial intelligence and AI-fueled digital transformation is revolutionizing how the O&M industry operates, unlocking previously unknown market opportunities.