Blade condition analysis

Blade condition management

A blade on a newer turbine (blade length 55-60 metres) has a tip speed of more than 300km/h. During their service lifetime of 20-25 years, blades operate for around 120,000 hours. The blade tip has therefore travelled more than 36,000,000 km before end of life. This is approximately 900 times around the world!

Whether managing a single wind farm or a fleet of turbines, owners and asset managers require access to a range of information to efficiently shape blade maintenance budgets to maximise energy generation and asset lifetime.

When to inspect your blade

Blade inspections are undertaken at the following stages of a wind turbine’s life:

Production – during production you will be able to see where each specific blade has been repaired as part of the production process. This knowledge should be recorded in the blade log. This information can be very useful during the rest of the blade's lifetime.

Installation – Inspection at construction completion stage can establish a base line and identify damage that has occurred during manufacture and transportation of construction.

End of Warranty – Performing a thorough independent inspection prior to finalisation of the warranty contract with the OEM can provide valuable objective evidence of blade condition against contract obligations.

Condition monitoring - operation - Leading edge erosion and deterioration of the blade surface can significantly reduce the performance of the blade and decrease the blade life span. Regular inspections can assist in monitoring blade health and identify minor repairs that will ultimately reduce cost and extend life and performance.

Lifetime extension – by following your blade's condition closely, it's lifetime can be extended due to a proper maintenance routine. Visual defects can be monitored at end of life instead of repairing, the value of this can be calculated in a cost/benefit model. 

AtSite offers the following:

  • Quality assurance and control of production of new blades
  • Assistance with acceptation criteria [before] leaving the factory
  • Visual Inspection of blades after transport
  • Assistance on guidance around planned maintenance
  • Purchase management
  • Quality assurance and control of blade repairs
  • Collating all data/documentation and generating reports so that repairs can be tracked over time