Using traditional methods, a boiler inspection is a long process: 3 days for the boiler to cool off; 2 days to install scaffolding, up to 4 days to do the inspection, and another 2 days to remove the scaffolding. And then there is the cost of all that downtime, about $30,000 per day in net profit loss for a typical 500 MW coal plant.
This process requires up to 40 contractors, numerous hazardous man-hours, and a great financial investment; the costs involved with the scaffolding alone can be upwards of $140,000, depending on the size of the boiler.
But energy companies can use drones to cut inspection time 4 days to 1, with no scaffolding required. Hazardous man-hours are drastically reduced and inspections can be completed at a fraction of the cost.