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Drones use 3D tech to monitor damage to wind turbine blades


Drones use 3D tech to monitor damage to wind turbine blades

Swiss technology developer Sulzer Schmid has launched its 3DX Damage Progression module designed to track wind turbine blade damage and monitor how it develops over time. - PowerEngineeringint

The 3DX Damage Progression module works by comparing the evolution of blade damage from one inspection campaign to another.

The progression of damage is displayed in a time series allowing its evolution to be tracked in a so-called ‘damage chain’.

The rich inspection data is used to identify, localise, measure, and classify damages, according to Sulzer. This means that for each subsequent inspection it is always possible to find the exact location and history of any damage, review, and evaluate its evolution.

Knowing how damages develop over time allows blade experts to determine which damages need to be repaired and when. This makes the planning of repair campaigns more efficient and facilitates the quality assessment of repairs.

This additional module is available on the proprietary browser-based 3DX Blade Platform, which integrates all the inspection information in one place, providing an overview of the blade health of the entire fleet of wind turbines.

When inspections are carried out in a routine and automated fashion the data generated becomes a veritable treasure. With advanced analytics and machine learning the data can generate important insights and trend analysis, which can be used to optimise repair campaigns and maintenance strategy. As more and more data are collected, we learn how problems develop over time and lay the foundation for predictive maintenance. The benefits are huge, resulting in substantial cost savings and better overall performance.

Tom Sulzer, Sulzer Schmid co-founder and CEO

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