Logistics firm DSV, alongside Ørsted, the Danish energy company, are set to test long-distance drone transport of spare parts and tools in the Kattegat Sea in Denmark.
The pair of Danish companies said that they 'share a common interest' in assessing the role cargo drones can play in sustainable logistics for offshore wind farms.
The technology also has a potential future role to play in business-to-business logistics.
DSV And Ørsted Collaboration
Offshore wind farms are usually located far from shore, with service technicians and necessary spare parts 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.
"At DSV, we’re constantly working to create optimal supply chains for our customers, so it was a good opportunity for us to collaborate with Ørsted on optimising their supply chain from the shore to offshore wind farms," commented Peter Matthiesen, head of innovation and digital Products at DSV.
"It’s fast, cost-effective, and renewable, so we’re looking forward to performing the test flights."
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 its capabilities in 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.