Aracnocóptero: Deep inspection of wind turbine blades


Wind turbine blades are sophisticatedly designed elements with complex curvatures. Based on multilayer structures of variable thickness, they are built in the form of a
composite. These elements are designed to operate for a minimum of 20 years. However, in practice difficulties arise: The blades are subject to wear, impacts from particles carried by the wind and sometimes strong tensions and twists. This causes a complex series of defects, which vary greatly. The sudden appearance of catastrophic damage to the blades is not frequent, although when it occurs it is very serious. Its analysis is a discipline that requires great experience and deep knowledge. The maintenance of wind turbine blades is a necessary practice to guarantee their correct operation throughout the established useful life period.

In 2010, the Spanish company Arbórea Intellbird, currently owned by Iberdrola and CDTI, created a specific SARP for the inspection of wind turbine blades, being a pioneer worldwide. The system was developed from the Arachnocóptero platform, the design of which began in 2008. In 2012, the already mature Arachnocóptero EOL6 SARP was presented with notable success at the largest wind industry fair, Husum Wind Energy in northern Germany. Currently, with more than six years of experience, Arbórea has implemented its technology internationally in Iberdrola and other major wind industry players, certifying blade defects through highly accurate technical reports.

The main advantages of this Spanish technology lie in its ability to generate complete blade maps in various spectra, measuring and positioning damage accurately, even those not visible externally, thanks to multispectral sensors and artificial vision for process automation.


Source: Avion Revue

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