14 June 2017
New partnership will reduce downtime and improve the safety of offshore wind turbine inspections.
Wind turbine inspections can be made quicker and cheaper – and the safety of the operation can be improved significantly.
A new partnership between a number of offshore wind operators is intended to make inspection easier, which will both reduce the time in which the turbines are stopped and avoid risky rope access inspections.
The collaboration is based on the Offshorenergy.dk project on alternative materials. E.ON is looking for alternative ways to inspect lightning conductors and leading edges on the turbines, which a number of partners have set out to solve: Bladena, CIM A/S Global Lighting, DFM and Rope Robotics, together with E.ON, aim to find a new and smarter way to perform inspections – and ideally carry out minor repairs at the same time.
“We need to take a look at erosion, structural damage and the state of the lightning conductor,” says Henrik Böhmer, project manager for Offshoreenergy.dk:
"At the same time, we want to find a solution that can cover more than just the inspection. For example, the drain hole in the blade needs to be cleaned. A very modest part of the inspection today, but a task that requires rope access, unless we can find an alternative. So, we hope to find a way in this partnership,” says Böhmer.
The ambition is for a new solution to avoid the risk element in rope access and also reduce the time it takes to inspect.
"There are clear safety gains, and faster inspections will both save time on the site and also limit the amount of time the turbine blades have to be stopped. That makes a big difference to the costs,” says Henrik Böhmer.