Sulzer Schmid, a Swiss company pioneering UAV technology for rotor blade inspections, and NNAISENSE, an artificial intelligence specialist, have partnered to develop an AI engine to automatically detect rotor blade damages on wind turbine.
According to the companies, this technology is expected to bring the twin benefits of improving the productivity and consistency of blade inspection processes.
With this new development effort, the two partners are aiming to build the industry's most powerful AI engine able to recognize damages based on inspection image material. The initial version will be able to flag all areas of concern on any given damaged blade. Ensuing upgrades will add other capabilities such as the ability to establish damage categories and severity levels.
The autonomously flying drones of the 3DX(tm) Inspection Platform of Sulzer Schmid assure high-definition quality and consistent image acquisition time as well as 100 percent blade coverage while minimizing human errors and operational risks.
The image assessment tools of the platform ensure detailed and efficient damage assessment. With the support of an AI-enabled inspection software, the review work of blade experts will be greatly facilitated. Instead of having to review the entire surface of the blades, they will simply need to focus on the pre-selected areas of concern.
"Maximizing end-to-end productivity is a key success factor in the highly competitive market of wind turbine inspection solutions. Thanks to our collaboration with NNAISENSE, we will be able to push the envelope in this area and significantly advance the automation capabilities of our inspection platform", explained Christof Schmid, COO and Co-founder of Sulzer Schmid.