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Automating wind farm operations with advanced robotics

Aerones helps onshore and offshore wind farm owners and managers automate operations & maintenance to increase wind turbine productivity, decrease electricity costs and accelerate the transition to wind energy.

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Their mission
Reduce the CO2 footprint and costs of renewable energy
Accelerating sustainable energy
Riga, Latvia

Their UVP

While providers in this space tend to focus on visual inspection, Aerones’ unique and patented computerized winch system, which controls a high-precision robotic arm, enables them them to perform a large array of services like leading edge repair, detailed external inspections, data analysis, lightning protection system tests, NDT ultrasound inspections, drainage hole cleaning as well as blade cleaning, de-icing or coating applications.
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Grand challenge

Accelerating sustainable energy

of global greenhouse gas emissions result from the burning of fossil fuels for energy
demand for energy could double or triple by 2050 as the global population increases to 9.7 billion and more people move into the middle class

According to the International Energy Agency’s “Net Zero by 2050” report, electrifying the power sector represents the most significant potential decrease in emissions reduction on the road to reaching net-zero emissions. As a result, the pace of development for wind projects will be multiplied by 4x between 2020 and 2030 — including an 18x growth for offshore wind projects — representing $810 billion in investments by then. Longer-term outlooks forecast the wind industry to grow tenfold in the next 30 years.

Though the wind industry continues to grow at a sustained pace, innovation in maintenance remains behind the curve, posing operational, financial and safety challenges for operators of older turbine models and newer, larger models.

The existing global wind fleet is aging, which increases global maintenance costs and puts pressure on operators. As the fleet ages, ensuring that increasingly frequent maintenance operations occur on schedule and at a reasonable cost is a real challenge. And as blades get larger — much larger — these operations get more complex, time-consuming, and risky.

As the pace of development for wind projects accelerates, scaling wind energy requires rethinking how we manage and maintain wind farms. Though sensors can monitor performance in real-time and remotely detect some failures, and drone-led aerial inspections can detect external structural issues, not only are those solutions inherently limited, but they also require human operators to perform the actual “hard work” of maintenance such as cleaning, reparation and replacement.

Why did we invest?

6x less downtime

Aerones founders
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Dainis Kruze, CEO
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Janis Putrams, CTO

Aerones became the first company in the world to solve this by providing maintenance for wind turbines using automated technology and robotics.

As opposed to human technicians or drone-led interventions, Aerones provides their customers with opportunities to actually run operations safely, in most weather conditions, and for a fraction of the cost. Results are impressive: 4-6x less downtime and 30–80% cost savings versus current human-crewed operations.

Aerones’ industry-beating performance is rooted in the company’s focus on R&D and engineering. The co-founders lead a team of 30+ engineers that spans competencies like robotics, computer science, and manufacturing. They have built a track record in developing scalable hardware and software innovations to deliver their mission.

By coupling the data they capture with other selected additional sensors (vibration, temperature…), Aerones is leveraging the founders’ experience in IoT and laying the ground to develop the first comprehensive predictive maintenance service in the industry.

The potential is enormous as Aerones helps customers avoid high-risk operations, reduces inspection costs and time on blades, increases efficiency by combining several activities with one tool and improves communication (making it faster and automatic) with inspection suppliers.

Many of the world’s largest wind companies such as Siemens Gamesa, Enel, GE and Vestas now work with Aerones. We’re excited to continue supporting the company as they reshape the wind industry.

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