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High-speed wind turbine inspection system from GE Renewable Energy

Wind turbine operation and maintenance costs can be reduced by up to 25%, thanks to a new high-speed blade inspection system. The latest innovation from GE Renewable Energy combines thermal technology and wide-band acoustic spectral analysis to advance the performance and reliability of all wind-turbine assets.

In this article, PIF explores GE Renewable Energy’s blade inspection system and the benefits it offers businesses in the renewable energy sector.

Wind turbine blade inspection system from GE Renewable Energy

The new ground-based inspection system from GE Renewable Energy can detect anomalies on blade across an entire wind fleet, regardless of turbine manufacturer. With high accuracy and locational precision, the GE system enables businesses to manage wind turbine assets more proactively.

Providing real-time data on turbine health, quickly and efficiently, helps reduce the need for physical inspections or sending technicians up-tower. As a result, the GE system can lead to safer and less costly repairs for businesses, whilst eliminating the need for wind assets to be powered down for long periods of time.

Anne McEntee, CEO of Digital Services at GE Renewable Energy says: “Wind turbine inspections have come a long way. Ground scopes, drones and tap testing are just a few methods that operators have used to help prevent against failures both small and catastrophic.

“But most down-tower blade inspections are limited to showing what is actually happening with the surface of a blade. Many of the issues that lead to larger failures are deep within the blade itself”.

“This is where our inspection technology truly excels. The ability to also look beyond the exterior coating of the blade, regardless of manufacturer, marks a significant advance in blade inspection technology for the entire wind industry”.

Advanced blade inspection technology for the wind industry

Staged at the base of wind turbines, GE Renewable Energy’s inspection technology administers a series of recordings as blades turn under active loads. This produces a real-time view of the subsurface health of turbine blades, layered with advanced digital image capabilities that are able to read and detect a wide range of blade anomalies.

As images are gathered, a combination of Artificial Intelligence algorithms and deep expertise in turbine engineering can help teams conduct an in-depth analysis of the blade’s overall health.

The GE inspection system can also detect a range of defects that are harmful to blade functions. These include

  • Fatigue cracks
  • Fibre waves
  • Delamination
  • Bonding issues
  • Breaking or missing adhesive joints
  • Splits and defective repairs

Additionally, certain anomalies under rotation will provide a distinct sound. This is something that the GE system is able to detect and analyse, in order to pinpoint the exact location of the anomaly.

For more information on Renewable Energy, take a look at our Top 10 Renewable Energy Facts.

Company Profile

GE Renewable Energy
GE Renewable Energy

GE Renewable Energy harnesses the earth’s most abundant resources – the strength of the wind, the heat of the sun and the force of water – to power the world’s biggest economies and the most remote communities.

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