Wind turbines are technological marvels, but they’re still vulnerable to the ravages of nature. In particular, they get icy sometimes and de-icing them is a bit tricky. Unlike de-icing planes—a procedure hopefully performed on the ground—de-icing a wind turbine’s blades typically happens several hundred feet in the air. This necessitates some delicate aerial maneuvering.
One simple solution is being pioneered by Latvian company Aerones, which is to haul the de-icing equipment into the air and operate it while all the humans stay safely on the ground. Check out this footage of the drone in action:
It might be tough to tell from the video, but that’s not an ordinary consumer drone. The Aerones drone has 36 propellers and produces . In this case, that ridiculous lifting power is used to carry a power cable and hose from the ground, where the drone can spray water pretty much forever.
These drones aren’t just used to clean wind turbines. They can also be used to fight fires, during rescue operations, and for deliveries. These drones make performing high-altitude maintenance easier, great news for the ever-increasing number of wind farms in the country.