Hamburg. The Buss Energy Group from Hamburg (Germany) continues its growth course with a strategic stake of 24.9 percent in Aero Enterprise GmbH from Linz. The Austrian company has been operating inspection flights on onshore and offshore wind turbines with self-developed flying robots since 2013.
The drones are based on helicopter technology and thus can be used even at high wind speeds. This strength – a key quality of the AERO-SensorCopter that is superior to the typical quadrocopter – is particularly relevant at high sea. Here the weather conditions are a frequent obstacle. Also, long flight times of the drones are a great advantage especially for offshore use. Thus, even with increasing sizes of the wind turbines no additional stop landing is needed. Furthermore, the drone inspection flight is fully autonomous and continuously monitored.
The high-resolution image data is evaluated by using the in-house developed AERO-Software Package. Damage detection and classification is largely automated with the support of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The subsequent automation of data transfer to the customer's software environment and the automatically generated reports enable efficient and objective reporting on the condition of the wind turbines and potential repairs needed. In addition, the drones can provide exact comparative data from previous inspections. This future-oriented technology is suitable for all types of inspections on wind turbines: for example, for determining the need for repairs, for handovers as part of the commissioning of new systems, for warranty inspections and recurring inspections.
The Buss Energy Group had already expanded its portfolio last year by purchasing two companies. In addition to port logistics for the construction of offshore wind farms, the service group also offers the installation and service of wind turbines and rotor blades both on land and at sea in Germany and Europe since 2019.
“The inspection by drone was the next logical step for us to complete our portfolio,” explains Managing Director Martin Schulz. “We can offer our customers a highly professional analysis of their wind turbines. The technology creates predictability regarding necessary value retention measures to increase plant productivity. From our point of view, drones are the most efficient and leading technology for the exact documentation and evaluation of an inspection."
Robert Hörmann, CEO of Aero Enterprise highlights that “the Buss Energy Group is the perfect strategic partner for us. Buss Energy's professional sales structures and many years of operational experience in the wind sector will help to further establish our technology on the market".
About Buss Energy Group
The Buss Energy Group is one of the leading service companies in the on- and offshore wind industry in Germany and Europe. The offered services of the Buss Energy Group include maintenance as well as installation of wind turbines and rotor blades at land and sea. In addition, the company offers the entire base port logistics with operation of port facilities.
Finally, a team of internationally experienced project managers and QHSE experts (quality, health, safety, environment) ensure a comprehensive set of services.
The Buss Energy Group is part of the Buss corporate group which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and employs around 500 people.
About Aero Enterprise
Aero Enterprise was founded in 2013 by Robert Hörmann as a start-up in Linz/Austria. Co-founder and Managing Director Peter Kurt Fromme-Knoch has been on board since 2015. Aero Enterprise focus on digital and automated inspection of vertical objects – especially on- and offshore wind turbines – with hardware and software both developed in-house.
Aero Enterprise sees itself as a technology leader in the offshore inspection segment. This, among other things, granted the EU-funded Horizon 2020 project for further development of the technology in 2019. The company currently employs twelve specialists in mechatronics, aviation engineering and software development.
The technology-oriented Upper Austrian Hightechfonds has also been involved in Aero Enterprise since 2018. As Aero Enterprise is already active in Central Europe, it is now taking the next step into the international market together with the Buss Energy Group.