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Artificial Intelligence Based Blade Inspection

Combination of Drone Inspection and Artificial Intelligence Powered Inspection Analysis

Airfusion figure 1New artificial intelligence (AI) based damage discovery technology can assist O&M organisations to detect defects and critical blade conditions through automated analysis of inspection data. Recent core enhancements in AI combined with high performance cloud-based platforms process inspection data in near real time and provide higher quality results at a lower cost when compared with human-based detection and analysis.

By Whitney Weller and Kevin Wells, AirFusion, USA

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Composite Manufacturing Innovations Make Wind Turbines More Sustainable


IACMI Figure 1Making Wind Energy Greener by Making the Turbines Themselves Recyclable

Although fields of spinning wind turbines are a renewable source of energy, a challenge to wind energy production is the energy used to create the turbine and make the 150-foot-wide fibreglass turbines strong and durable. Additionally, when the turbines wear out after 20 or 25 years, only part of the material can be recycled. Therefore, wind turbine production is an ideal project for the Institute for Advanced Composites Manufacturing Innovation (IACMI), a 160+ member, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and US Department of Energy driven consortium committed to increasing domestic production capacity and manufacturing jobs across the US composites industry. IACMI’s projects incorporate industry sectors including improving the composite materials used in the manufacturing of wind turbines, cars, compressed gas storage tanks and a number of other products such as airplanes and sporting goods.

By Liz Entman, Vanderbilt University and Emily King, Hannah Jay, and Robin Pate ,IACMI – The Composites Institute, USA

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Reduction of radar cross section of wind turbines


Morphona figure 1Materials and method to reduce the radar cross section of wind turbines

Reduction of the radar cross section is an important aspect when planning a modern wind power plant. In the European Union the building permits for more than 20GW of wind power plants are rejected till the end of 2011 because of interference with civil and military radars. This equates to an estimated value in 2011 of more than € 30 billion.

By Jari Jekkonen, Veijo Kangas, Pasi Moilanen and Marko Luukkainen, Morphona, Finland

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Offshore Wind Subsea Digitalisation

SeaVision, Three-Dimensional Underwater Laser Imaging System

Kraken Figure 1In recent years, three-dimensional (3D) imaging sensors have increased in popularity as a tool for surface-based structural integrity assessment. These sensors provide 3D volumetric information that can be compared against baseline models for the detection of structural defects. Kraken’s SeaVision is a subsea high resolution full colour laser imaging sensor that transfers these capabilities to the subsea domain. With the deployment of offshore wind set to almost triple in the next 10 years, the need for innovative and low-risk solutions to inspect assets is crucial. Traditional inspection regimes need to be enriched with full 3D digitalisation of the inspected subsea structure. Cloud enabled four-dimensional (4D) data analytics, which track the development of the asset over time, are a step forward towards more cost-effective subsea asset management.

By Patrick Merz Paranhos and Jakob Schwendner, Kraken Robotik, Germany

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Application of Lidar Technology

Power Curve Verification Using Ground-Based and Nacelle-Mounted Remote Sensing Devices

Ventus figure 1A power curve measurement using remote sensing technology was performed in Uruguay after previous measurements had been completed by an independent laboratory, and the results showed that the measured power curve was considerably below the advertised one. The classification procedure of the ground-based lidar and the power curve results according to the IEC 61400-12-1 Ed. 2 standard are presented in this work.

By Andres Guggeri and Vasilii Netesov, Ventus Energía, Uruguay

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Innovative Inspection of Offshore Foundations

Uniper Figure 1Using Interfering Sound Waves for Monopile Investigation

Offshore wind farm operators face a challenge when trying to establish the integrity of the monopile-transition piece interface which has been used in 80% of turbines constructed before 2012. A key focus is the layer of grout which bonds the two steel sections of the structure, the integrity of which could affect the turbine’s long-term stability. Uniper Technologies, working with a team from the British Geological Survey, has developed a system, the first of its kind, which uses interfering sound waves to investigate the monopile-transition piece underwater and highlight any areas of defective or missing grout. The system, which has been successfully trialled at sea, was a winner of the recent Subsea Inspection competition organised by the Carbon Trust’s Offshore Wind Accelerator. Importantly the technique can inspect the structure from a single surface and within the tight timescales required for offshore procedures. Inspection data is interpreted and shared in a transparent format.

By Dr Colin Brett, Head of Inspection, Uniper Technologies, UK

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Modular Blades Market

Nabrawind 1aBreaking the Logistic Barriers in XXL Blades Industry

The growth of the wind market, together with the low availability of sites with optimal wind conditions, is creating a rapid increase in the size of turbines and therefore the diameter of some rotors that work at specific low power levels. This leads to the need for longer blades whose transport is, more and more frequently, a major logistical challenge that manufacturers must face. The modularisation of these blades is presented as a solution to reduce the costs of, or even make feasible, wind farms with more complicated logistics. The main OEMs are all working on modularisation developments that aim to lead to a reliable solution with an acceptable impact on the rest of the machine.

By Javier Iriarte, Senior Engineer at Nabrawind Technologies, Spain

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