DJM Aerial Solutions, a Middlesbrough-based commercial drone service provider, has glanced ahead to the future to predict which industries will be most affected by the rise in thermal imagining.
The company believes that thermal imagining extensions, which are expected to be among the biggest trends in the commercial UAV sector throughout 2018, will be widely taken up by companies that work within renewable energy.
Writing on the website, the company said: “Drones with attached thermal Imaging capabilities are currently having a huge impact on the renewable energy industry. Solar farms are currently embracing thermal imaging and drone technology. Solar panels require regular maintenance and inspection to allow for continued performance and production, defective cells within solar panels are common, essentially having a negative impact on production.
“Drones can be in the air within minutes of arriving on site and flying a predetermined mission capturing the essential thermal data and feeding it back to a ground station live. A defective cell in a solar panel is clear as day amongst a bank of operational cells and can be pinpointed instantly. This saves copious man hours on foot allowing the client to concentrate their time elsewhere.”
While the technology has already begun making waves within the solar division of the renewable energy sector, DJM predicts that wind turbines will also benefit from the application of thermal imaging.
“Wind turbine energy companies are also embracing thermal imaging capabilities to inspect for any breakdown in insulation around motors and components” the company continued.
“When components begin to fail they produce heat as their internals start to deteriorate. For example if a bearing begins to fail due to prunella or lack of maintenance, the friction generated will produce a discernible heat signature in contrast to it’s surrounding components. Obviously if this is the case then the bearing or component is possibly too far gone and the asset should be shut down. This is where the drone and attached thermal sensor comes into play.”