In recent years, wind energy has had great development. Also, at the same time has encountered many challenges that have to do in most cases with wind turbines. One issue that this industry is facing is the inspections of wind turbines. Wind turbines are of crucial importance as they need constant monitoring and maintenance to ensure optimum efficiency. Since turbines play a crucial role in this industry, systematic maintenance and regular inspections are essential. The high cost of inspections but also the lack of expertise make them difficult to maintain. Damage to a turbine, translates a loss of electricity generation and a loss of money. Augmented Reality (AR) technology is a tool that facilitates many processes and aims to end the challenges for wind turbine inspections. AR is already empowering remote assistance through software applications that merge digital content into the user’s real-world environment.
Let’s see below some of the ways AR remote assistance is aiming to bring about a wave of change in turbine inspections.
Interactive and cost-effective solution
Initially, it was worth mentioning that wind turbines generally require preventative maintenance checkups two to three times per year. At the same time, in-person manual inspections are subject to human error. Also, can take up to a full day for a single tower. AR remote assistance enables effective and interactive communication between a center expert and a worker who is conducting the field inspection. This communication is possible in real-time. Additionally, gives the center team the opportunity to see exactly what the field worker sees. It strengthens communication and real-time cooperation by preventing many problems. Also, provide solutions to various problems that lead to the malfunction of turbines.
Thanks to the AR remote assistance it is possible for the field worker to easily follow in detail the expert instructions. Moreover, these instructions are enhanced with AR elements. AR remote assistance on smart glasses gives the opportunity to field workers to perform inspections and maintenance hands-free. Furthermore, AR remote assistance is a way to provide cost-effective solutions. In many cases for various problems, the absence of proper expertise for inspection and maintenance is a big challenge. This results in huge losses until the right expert comes to the field.
Increased work safety
Another problem existing in wind farms is the safety of workers performing inspections and maintenance. Safety is a critical issue that often causes many dangers for workers’ lives. Using AR remote assistance integrated into smart glasses for inspections is far safer now. Even when a wind tech is climbing up towers. In this way, while the fieldworker works hands-free, he receives the appropriate instructions. Also, also receive warnings for various dangers that may threaten him. Thanks to this remote assistance, we have the improvement of the safety of workers. We also have the prevention of many dangerous situations. Also, reduction of human errors that can occur during various processes.
Fast and accessible visual assessments
AR technology is already providing solutions for visual assessments around the project site. Different images can be captured with a device on a tripod. Then images of turbines can be superimposed on photos. This also gives an idea of how a project might look in reality in a given location. Usually, this is also an innovative way to present projects to landowners or entrepreneurs while you are on the site and moving your camera. Also, the turbines are superimposed in the real environment.
Furthermore, through an AR remote assistance app, it is worth mentioning here VSight, it is possible to automatically transfer and document to a data portal the photos or videos captured together with the AR elements superimposed on them. Project supervisors thus have unlimited access to these materials and are able to determine project details such as height or number of turbines using field data in the model. This helps them to make possible changes as well as to successfully conclude their project planning.
AR technology is providing innovative applications in the wind energy sector and as mentioned above is radically changing the way of wind turbine inspections by significantly improving it with efficient solutions. To summarize AR technology solves complex challenges by empowering AR remote assistance that enables wind-farm workers to receive remote on-site guidance from more experienced colleagues and get the support they need in their operations. At the same time AR glasses superimposing digital instructions enhance the speed of assembly. The adoption of this technology is greatly encouraged as it is being proven every day that the implementation of AR solutions in the wind energy industry has significantly benefited employee safety and increased profits.