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BLADE INSPECTION & REPAIR


BLADE AND STRUCTURE INSPECTIONS


Invisotech, an inspection services technology company based in Newcastle is bringing its innovative inspection solutions to the wind industry to tackle early identification of blade leading edge erosion and to test general structural integrity in one asset sweep.


Structural integrity is another growing area of concern, heightened by recent asset failures like the breaking of a turbine at the Samsø (Paludans Flak) offshore windfarm, which was caused by a welding fracture.


NON-DESTRUCTIVE TESTING (NDT) Certain NDT technologies can be utilised to check the health of every inch of every weld and in conjunction with the HD video footage can deliver valuable, usable data in relation to structural integrity and condition monitoring. Invisotech as one such provider of inspection services, in partnership with an industry leader in NDT technology have a completely wireless ROV inspection solution with on-board HD cameras and NDT probe, which can be easily and quickly deployed onsite.


Using such technology initially removes the inherent dangers of using rope access personnel and extended periods of asset downtime until they are needed to conduct repairs.


GROWING CONCERN


Blade condition and performance is a growing concern in the industry, as has been highlighted by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult’s (OREC) Blade Leading Edge Erosion Programme (BLEEP), which has been working to co- ordinate initiatives to reduce the adverse impact of blade erosion on wind turbine performance.


Assets are being damaged by bird strikes, lightning strikes, rain, hail, ice and insects to name a few. Blade erosion and deteriorating gel coats can significantly decrease the aerodynamic efficiency of a turbine blade and cause significant performance losses, leading to a decreased lifespan and an increase in the overall running costs.


Innovative ideas, solutions and processes may hold the key to asset longevity and future O & M planning.


O & M STRATEGY


Any good O & M strategy starts with solid inspections at its core and as such a high-definition inch-by-inch review of your assets is a great place to start. Knowing the condition of turbine blades is essential to build a long-term strategy for maximising the blade in-service lifespan.


Visual inspections in a controlled and stable manner can help build a fuller asset picture and draw attention to problem areas; monitoring degradation over time. Time spent now understanding your assets can save significant time and cost later rectifying a problem, or worse, dealing with a complete asset failure.


Furthermore a visual inspection with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) crawler can be achieved with very little asset downtime, thus maximising your yield.


STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY HEALTH- CHECK


In addition to the blade inspection a structural integrity health-check would be highly recommended too. This can be done at the same time again minimising asset downtime and disruption.


LESSONS LEARNED


As an industry we are clearly still in the early days of truly understanding our wind assets but we can look at the lessons learned from the oil & gas sector and an increase in incidents to reasonably predict that questions over asset structural integrity will dominate board room conversations in the future. An inspections programme is a vital tool to de-risk your portfolio.


Invisotech


Click to view more info = Click to view video


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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