Today we see a massive wind turbine being de-iced by a giant drone. The drone is developed by the Latvian firm Aerones. The industrial drone has 36 propellors and can carry payloads up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and since it tethered to the ground it can theoretically fly forever.

De-icing a massive wind turbine by drone

Commercial applications for drones as taking off in a big way. Earlier this week, DJI showed how they are planning to conquer the commercial drone market with the arrival of the DJI Zenmuse XT2, SDK and the DJI Skyport adapter.

Today we see a massive wind turbine being de-iced by a giant drone. The drone is developed by the Latvian firm Aerones. The industrial drone has 36 propellors and can carry payloads up to 220 pounds (100 kilograms) and since it tethered to the ground it can theoretically fly forever. Aerones says that these drones have many possible applications, de-icing wind turbines being one of them but also search and rescue, firefighting in high-rise buildings and industrial cleaning.

In the video below, you can see how the de-icing works. The drone is being supplied with both water and power through a tether to the ground meaning it can stay up in the air indefinitely. It sprays up to 100 liters of water a minute. De-icing by drone presents a massive cost-saving compared to using climbers to do the job ($1,000 vs. $5,000).  Ice and snow build up on the turbine’s blades decrease their efficiency and can bring them to a stop. De-icing the blades by drone is both safer and faster than with traditional methods.

In an article in The Verge, Aerones’ CEO Janis Putrams said the company was still in the process of raising funding to get its system fully commercialized, but that the team was “getting much more requests than we can fulfill.”

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