Why inspect wind turbine blades?

How to avoid major wind turbine blade damage and costs

In our latest technical field note, we argue that blade damage can and should be checked early
to avoid catastrophic increase in costs. Blade inspections are one effective way to mitigate risks.

3E_Wind-Turbine-Blade

Technical note on wind turbine blade inspections

Wind turbines blades, especially in harsh environments such as a coastal or arid one, are likely to suffer from erosion, integrity issues and degradation caused by lightning. The worst case scenario of catastrophic blade damage is not unheard of.
Any wind farm owner or operator will agree that avoiding such an event is essential. Indeed, not only is the public visibility of such a catastrophe problematic, it will also entail significant costs in repair and downtime that are not necessarily covered by the O&M contract. Nonetheless, the key tool to detect issues early -professional blade inspections- is often put off or reduced in scope.
To us, this is paradoxical. Rarely do blade issues arise out of the blue or in one go. Most blade damage evolves and increases over time. Detected early enough it can be corrected or minimized at significantly reduced costs.
 Download This is why we argue that end-of-warranty and periodic blade inspections are a crucial step in wind farm operations and a key way to detect any issue before it’s too late and too costly. Furthermore, full inspections at height, yield better results than inspections from the ground. Finally, a third-party inspection has the added benefit of providing benchmarking tools on OEM performance and future maintenance costs.
Read full note on blade inspections

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