Wind turbine blades are designed to last 20 years. Unfortunately, without proper maintenance many blades are destined for the landfill well before this time. We have the most comprehensive methods to provide Wind Turbine Blade Inspection services: Rope Access, Drones and Ground Cameras.
Blades have lot of stress from environment: erosion, lightning, temperature and vibration. Keeping blades well maintained will reduce the risk of failure and downtime.
Step 1: Yearly visual inspection.
With high power telescope or drone we can inspect 3-8 turbines per day and give 100% view of the blade. With inspection report software you can track every piece of your blade and detect faults in early stages.
Step 2: Close physical inspection and maintenance.
Blade technicians via rope access can take a closer look on concerning areas from inside and outside, test lightning protection and repair coating damages. Only a person can detect hair thin crack and fix problems on location.
Step 3: Repair damages.
Estimate the severity of the damages and plan repairs. Small and medium damages can be fixed via rope access, big repairs require suspended platform or crane. Choosing the right skill and experience level is essential.
Step 4: Upgrade
Get more out of the turbine by reducing drag, noise and erosion. Power curve upgrades, new coating materials, de-icing systems and monitoring devices can be installed on operating turbines.
Due to the fact that the inspectors need to climb the turbine three times (for three rotor blades) it still remains a time-consuming method. The average time for an inspection by rope descent is about 3 to 4 hours. With that in mind Skyproff started to look for a more cost-effective, and even more importantly a safer way to carry out time-effective rotor blade inspections.
We flew the drone at a customer’s wind farm with wind speeds reaching up to 12 metres per second!
After the inspection has taken place according to a specified protocol (flight path), the images and inspection details are send to our headquarters and analysed. Experienced blade technicians take a thorough look at the detailed footage that was shot, and create a detailed report for the customer, accompanied by their recommendations or, if necessary, advice to stop the turbine immediately.
- Quick scanning of the fleet (8+Turbines per day)
- Low down time on each turbine (~45min of stoppage time per turbine)
- Hi-res photos from close range and orthogonal vantage points
- Spot-checking for tracking of defects over time
- LE erosion monitoring
- Warranty and repair scanning
- Insurance evidence collection
- Emergency viewing after lightning strikes or storms
- Onshore & o_shore capabilities
- Fly in windy and poor conditions
- Automated data processing /analytics / report generation
Ground Based Inspection
Skyproff offers a ground based camera system for inspection of rotor blades.
The ground based inspection service Ground Based Inspection is done by using an automated camera system including ultra high definition imaging. All work is done from the ground, meaning no working at heights, no hanging or flying objects.
The Ground Based Inspection service is customized for the dynamic wind turbine inspection projects where all aspects are optimized for safety, quality and speed. Within 2-3 hours the 3 turbine blades are inspected from all sides.
Using ground based inspections brings following advantages:
Rope Access Technique
Rope Access Technique (RAT) is a system of work positioning, utilizing skills and equipment developed in the climbing and caving world. These skills have been adapted in the latest 15 years for industrial use, especially at offshore constructions. Rope access is a cost-effective and safe alternative to scaffolding and other more traditional methods of access.
The true benefits of rope access are realized when the current cost to access an area is disproportionate to the amount of work that has to be carried out. Small crews of multi-disciplined technicians can often accomplish in hours, work that previously took days to complete using conventional access methods.
More often than not, blades are not inspected up close since the day of commissioning. Performing a hands-on independent inspection of all rotor blades 3-9 months prior to warranty expiration is recommended. Blade repair is costly. Identifying issues covered under warranty can easily pay for the inspection several times over.
Annual Blade Check-up
Blades should be inspected every 2-3 years and more frequently if known issues are present. By scheduling the inspection of ½ to 1/3 of your inventory of rotor sets, Annual Blade Check-up provides a reasonable annual fixed price that is easy to budget. This service can be customized to include from 15% to 100% of the fleet annually.