Project Description

Smart maintenance of power plants

Wien Energie has been maintaining solar power plants, wind turbines and district heating pipelines using smart drones since 2017, thereby making the inspection of power plants faster, cheaper and more reliable than is the case with conventional methods. This is because even the tiniest of defects can be detected on the high-resolution images collected when flying over the plant. Our solar power plant installed on the roof of the Wien Mitte shopping centre, which covers an area of around 9,000 square metres, can be inspected in just one hour using this ‘smart inspection’ technology, instead of two days as was the case before.

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A picture says more than 1,000 words

See for yourself how our approach to smart power plant maintenance works.

Project details

Inspections are an important part of the work to ensure that technical facilities remain efficient and able to function for a long period of time, and drones are increasingly being used for this purpose. They are a particularly attractive proposition when it comes to maintaining wind farms.

  • Objective assessment and prognosis using artificial intelligence
  • Greater occupational safety thanks to data being captured quickly (especially for tall wind turbines)
  • Fewer stoppages and reduced downtime
  • Improved plant documentation
  • Error patterns can be observed and changes automatically detected
  • Service quality ensured by means of TÜV Austria certification

Wien Energie uses the technology itself, but also offers it to third parties. Smart drones are used for inspecting wind turbines, PV systems, district heating pipelines and chimneys. They can, however, be used in many other different ways. Wien Energie has already held workshops with Wiener Netze and the City of Vienna to consider using drones to check roofs, bridges or underground shafts.

Patrick Enzinger

“Inspecting power plant facilities is often a difficult and lengthy undertaking, and can result in periods of costly downtime. Using drones in combination with automated defect detection technology can, among other things, improve workplace safety, reduce stoppages and downtime, and produce high-quality inspection reports.”

Patrick Enzinger, Smart Inspection Project Manager

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Blockchain technology is set to revolutionise the energy industry, which is why Wien Energie is already proactively dealing with the topic and developing expertise. In 2017, for example, Wien Energie carried out the world’s first blockchain gas trade.