Currently, the maintenance and inspection of wind turbine blades are made either by suspension on cables or through the usage of elevating metallic platforms, but neither one is flexible enough to permit the conduction of these operations easily and at any given time because they are not shielded from the environment. Between rope access and the elevating platforms, the later represent a more robust solution, but none of the available ones at the market answer to three fundamental problems, which are:
- the possibility to adapt to any given shape of the geometry of blades avoiding inaccessible areas;
- the possibility to carry maintenance procedures in adverse climate conditions, like rain, snow or very hot days;
- lateral stability to wind gusts and smooth transition of obstacles (tower flanges), especially with windy conditions.
Due to this reason the blades maintenance is highly seasonal activity lasting 20 to 25 weeks per year.
Eptune Engineering, aware of this need in the Eolic market, is solving this problem by developing a suspended platform with a habitat to increase the maintenance season by 10 to 15 more weeks.
Eptune Engineering is developing within this project the following innovations:
- create a habitat that can sustain harsh meteorologic conditions, by creating a controlled working environment, with controlled temperature and humidity levels;
- a sealing system connecting the habitat to the blade that will prevent water and external air to enter the habitat;
- a system that will guarantee stability during the elevation/descent of a platform
This equipment will contribute for the reduction of the LCOE by reducing the maintenance cost and for the energy produced by increasing the wind parks availability.
The project is being led by Eptune Engineering, a product and technology company an end user, Onrope and IDN, a Norwegian company that supports us in defining offshore requirements and establishing contacts with potential end-users and wind energy producers.
Total cost: 414.886,00 Euros
Eligible cost: 397.194,00 Euros
Financial support: 276.112,00 Euros