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France

France

Bouygues enters market to sell wind turbine drone service

FRANCE: The use of drones in the wind power market is growing as more companies enter the sector, offering technical inspections of wind turbines and other services at a competitive cost.

The Bougyues drone
The Bougyues drone

One such company is Bouygues, which recently entered the French market. Drones can also be used for inspecting power lines and for carrying out field surveys to give a 3D image of the terrain.

The advantages of drones (or remotely operated aerial vehicles) carrying high-definition cameras over manual inspections are that they are quicker, cheaper, less weather dependent and have no safety implications, explained François-Xavier Lemoine, head of drone activities at Bouygues Energies & Services.

The inspection takes around one hour, from arriving at the site, Lemoine said. The drone flies all around each blade and the rotor, constantly taking images that are transmitted to the operator on the ground.

While drones cannot fly when it is raining or too gusty, they are less affected by weather than people carrying out the inspections using ropes.

And because using drones is quicker and cheaper, inspections can be carried out more frequently. This means problems can be detected earlier and are less costly to repair.

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