The world is blowing in a greener direction, it's difficult to ignore the escalating demand for renewables in the energy sector, and the change is evident with the number of land-based and offshore wind power installations popping up all over the globe. With climate targets being taken seriously, we’re seeing the transition towards wind turbines as the supplier of clean and increasingly affordable energy. Another trend is smaller turbines becoming more efficient. 

With this expansion follows more asset integrity assessments. Historically this has involved rope access technicians, drones, and/or telescopic photography. The implementation of a robotic solution minimizes or eradicates the necessity for humans to enter hazardous environments such as high altitudes, confined spaces, and the high-risk blade area. In addition to providing enhanced safety for workers, robust inspection robots can function seamlessly in any weather condition. In collaboration with SPRINT Robotics, Eddyfi Technologies has a shared mandate to improve the quality and safety of the maintenance, inspection, and cleaning of capital-intensive infrastructure. This article shares the Beyond Current solution for inspecting renewable energy assets.

A wind turbine will undergo a range of inspections throughout its entire useful life: from the quality assurance inspection at production and installation, planned preventative maintenance scheduled over the typical five to 10-year warranty period, end-of-warranty inspection for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of new components and structure; all the way to non-routine occasional extension of lifetime assessments based on condition monitoring reports.

Benefits of a simplistic approach

From beginning to end, the VersaTrax™ M-Series miniature magnetic crawler is a proven constant that can be found performing internal and external remote visual inspection (RVI) of wind turbine towers and blades worldwide. The versatile inspection robot features a 360° continuous tilt camera that can operate in air and underwater in otherwise inaccessible industrial environments. Delivering 1080p resolution real-time video footage, the VersaTrax operates on a user-friendly software platform leveraging the variable intensity spot and flood lights and parallel laser lines to collect the precise data required for a comprehensive, comparable inspection report, visit our eStore for more information and pricing.

The robotic deployment of Eddyfi Technologies’ NDT sensors enables an all-in-one solution for deeper analysis. For example, phased array ultrasonic testing (PAUT) can be performed on composite blades with Eddyfi Technologies range of semi-automated scanners NDT Sweeper, NDT Paintbrush & LYNCS™, download our eBook on robotics for NDT data collection or visit our Eddyfi Academy to take a closer look. The Sharck™ probe can be used to inspect carbon steel welds for surface-breaking cracks. Our robotic crawlers can access the T-joint construction welds found on offshore wind installations for assessment by total focusing method, or TFM, with the Gekko®. Subsea, Inuktun robotic crawlers have had great success mobilizing alternating current field Measurement, or ACFM®, devices for structural weld inspections.

VersaTrax™ Using Sharck™ + ECA Inspection

Beyond NDT, we have developed an OnSpec custom solution to fill composite holes with epoxy robotically instead of sending humans into the turbine blade.

Tooling Robot Design

Eddyfi Technologies’ robotic platforms are regularly used for tooling and other bespoke remote operations. Numerous adaptations of the VersaTrax platform have enabled clients to overcome specific challenges never possible before. Proven in the renewable energy sector, the true potential of this technology is green.

VersaTrax™ M-Series with Reactor Arms

We invite you to contact our experts to discuss your specific requirements for robotic deployment that empowers safer, more productive, and sustainable operations today.