SpectX, Avular Robotics, and Eindhoven University of Technology have secured a substantial grant of 1.74 million euros for their groundbreaking project aimed at revolutionizing the inspection of internal damage in offshore wind turbines.
The consortium received this funding from RVO’s ‘Renewable Energy Transition Programme’ (HER+), marking a significant milestone in the development of innovative technologies for the renewable energy sector. The partnership’s goal is to enhance the efficiency and reliability of offshore wind farm maintenance through the utilization of an autonomous radiography system that combines X-ray analysis equipment with synchronized drones.
Detecting internal damage in wind turbine blades has posed a challenge for conventional inspection techniques. Such damage, if left undetected, can lead to reduced turbine efficiency and prolonged downtime. By integrating X-ray technology and drone platforms, SpectX, Avular Robotics, and Eindhoven University of Technology aim to provide a non-invasive, high-resolution scan of turbine blades. This innovative approach enables the visualization of hidden damage, including delamination, cracks, and holes. By identifying these issues early on, proactive maintenance can be performed, mitigating potential risks and optimizing wind turbine performance.
The consortium has chosen Eemshaven, located in the North Sea, as the site for their pilot project due to its prominence as a hub for offshore wind activities. Conducting the pilot in this region allows the partners to develop specialized drones equipped for the inspections and data collection of turbine blade conditions, all while minimizing risks to personnel. Traditionally, maintenance workers are transported offshore and required to perform inspections at great heights, increasing the associated risks. Additionally, the utilization of X-rays for inspections has been limited by radiation safety concerns. The collaboration seeks to overcome these challenges by deploying their innovative system, reducing risks, and improving overall efficiency.
SpectX believes that the development of this inspection system will not only revolutionize offshore wind turbine maintenance but also strengthen the North Sea’s position as a center for sustainable energy innovation. By combining cutting-edge technology with renewable energy solutions, the consortium aims to contribute to the ongoing transformation towards a greener and more sustainable future.