Ørsted aims to become carbon-neutral by 2025 and is continually exploring new ways to ensure high wind farm availability and reduce carbon emissions from service logistics. The two leading Danish companies share a common interest in assessing the role cargo drones potentially can play in sustainable logistics for offshore wind farms.
Offshore wind farms are usually located far from shore, and the service technicians and necessary spare parts are usually transported by ship. Technicians bring their tools and the components most often needed for the wind turbines, but if special spare parts are needed, they must go back onshore to get them. This is both costly and time-consuming, and the repairs are therefore often delayed until the next day.
As an alternative, cargo drones can offer logistics support, especially for small spare parts, contributing to a much faster wind turbine restart.
DSV took part in the trial, as the company is already using drones in its own logistics centres and sees potential opportunities in using drone technology in new contexts.
The oversea trials from Grenaa to Anholt are the first of their kind, and the partnership between Ørsted and DSV will explore opportunities for using drone technology at sea.
The test flights will run over two weeks, during which the drone will demonstrate that it is capable of delivering components from Ørsted’s operations base at the Port of Grenaa to the offshore substation 25 km out at sea and, potentially, to the wind turbines. The trials will be conducted using an electric drone with a range of 100 km and a payload capacity of 2.5 kg. The aim of the trials is to test whether cargo drones can serve as a realistic logistics supplement for the company’s many offshore wind farms in operation.
DSV has engaged the services of Swiss drone supplier RigiTech and Danish operator Holo, both of whom specialise in autonomous mobility solutions. RigiTech and Holo will both support the drone test flights.