Germany funds research on using drones to service offshore wind farms
The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is funding a new three-year research project on the use of passenger-grade air taxis and cargo drones to complement helicopter and ship deployments when servicing offshore wind farms. The idea is to fly technicians and materials out to sea using drones, and reduce the time and cost it takes to service a wind turbine.
The project is being spearheaded by electric utility company EnBW, wind farms and solar parks developer Energiekontor, and the German government’s research center for aeronautics and space DLR.
Offshore wind farms play a critical role in ensuring sustainable energy supply in Germany. However, their location far from the coast means long journeys for the maintenance teams. Moreover, accommodating service technicians at sea is also a costly affair.
The engineers working on the project envision using cargo drones to transport tools and materials directly to the top of a…