Drones for Wind Turbine Inspection

drones for wind turbine inspectionONYX Insight and Nearthlab Partner for Whole Turbine Predictive Maintenance

by DRONELIFE Staff Writer Ian M. Crosby

Predictive maintenance solutions (PdM) provider ONYX Insight has announced a partnership with autonomous drone solution company Nearthlab to provide wind farm operators with a whole turbine predictive maintenance solution. The two companies are coming together to grant large operators capabilities that address issues of labor, resources and inflation facing the industry. The partnership will cover North America, with ONYX Insight licensed to utilize Nearthlab’s Zoomable software in the assessment of the health of wind turbines.

Leveraging Nearthlab’s experience with mobile drone technology, ONYX Insight will offer analysis and PdM services to lower reliance on trained drone pilots by enabling self-performing operators to conduct visual inspections of their turbine blades at a significantly lower price point. Wind operators will have full PdM for their wind turbines along with consistent reporting from a single ecosystem, with drone operations conducted in-house.

“After two years of collaboration with Nearthlab across a large fleet of assets, we’ve identified strong benefits to turbine health management by combining our technologies into one unified offer,” said ONYX Insight Chief Commercial Officer Ashley Crowther. “For major components in a fleet, the damage cases can be managed efficiently, end-to-end, from detection through to repair and QAQC.”

This announcement follows Blades USA 2023, a two-day conference in Austin, Texas giving industry leaders a look at the latest insights, technical innovations, and strategic developments in the blade operations and maintenance industry.

The combination of Nearthlab’s innovative inspection solutions with ONYX Insight’s expertise in turbine reliability engineering, the integration of drivetrain, blade health monitoring, and enterprise management systems into a single business ecosystem has the potential to revolutionize the way in which wind turbines are managed.

ONYX Insight is currently capable of monitoring 85 percent of major component failures. Access to a comprehensive turbine health management provider allows operators to self-perform sooner, more quickly identifying problems and managing them using fewer resources for an overall lower cost of wind farm operations.

NearthWIND Mobile, our latest plug-and-play solution, is proving to be a game-changer in the world of drone inspections,” said Nearthlab CEO & Co-Founder Jay Choi. “Now, dubbed with ONYX Insight’s expertise and reach within the predictive maintenance market, Nearthlab will come to spread its wings wide across industries and regions.”

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Ian attended Dominican University of California, where he received a BA in English in 2019. With a lifelong passion for writing and storytelling and a keen interest in technology, he is now contributing to DroneLife as a staff writer.


Miriam McNabb

Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry.  Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.


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