Spider Robot BladeBUG Will Inspect And Maintain Offshore Wind Turbines

By / In belshazzar / 0 Comments

The more actively offshore, that is, offshore wind power, develops, the more serious the issue of servicing giant wind turbines becomes. By the end of this decade, offshore wind energy will become one of the main suppliers of electricity to European countries. Also, according to the energy plan of the incumbent US President Joe Biden, many wind farms will be built along the east coast of the United States. Japan, China and other countries of Southeast Asia are also strongly developing offshore generation. Plus, offshore # wind turbines will be the energy source for the production of «green» hydrogen. And of course, all these wind turbines require periodic maintenance inspections and maintenance.

Realizing that it is unlikely that it will be possible to find the necessary number of industrial climbers for servicing offshore wind turbines, the British company Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult proposed its own option, which is designed to solve this issue. She created a six-legged spider-robot that will check the condition of fasteners, blades and other elements of giant wind turbines. And as you can imagine, the amount of work for this robotic complex will be truly gigantic. It will test millions of mounting bolts, thousands of blades, ultrasonic scanning of wind turbine supports. EchoBolt is also involved in this project, which has created a complex for ultrasonic scanning of fasteners.

The project was supported by one of the leading wind turbine developers GE Renewable Energy. Here the American company plays a supporting role as a technology advisor. GE believes that the introduction of such robotic technologies will allow companies

We have already said that the UK is implementing several large-scale projects for the construction of offshore wind farms. By 2050, they are generally expected to supply up to 75 GW of wind power to the network of foggy Albion. And in physical terms, approximately 250,000 blades and more than 79 million bolts will work for this. And all of them must be periodically inspected, scanned, and, if necessary, repaired.

Of course, wind energy will create many thousands of new jobs, but as you can imagine, it is unlikely that most of them will be industrial climbers. Their work will be largely performed by robots, and their work will be controlled by operators. And the work will be done, and safety measures will be observed, without endangering people’s lives.

The leaders of both innovative companies are equally optimistic about the upcoming business collaboration.

How not to remember here:

«… Forgotten troubles, stopped running,
Robots work, not humans.
What progress has come
Physical labor has disappeared … «.

In this particular case, it is a very useful technology, especially in light of what happened recently while working in a manifold near Taganrog. Such dangerous work, where it is not guaranteed that even the most stringent technical safety measures will be effective, must be performed by robots. And as we can see, this process has begun.


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the BladeBUG spider robot has proven its ability to walk on vertical surfaces, move along the blades and test them on the ORE Catapult Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine, while the EchoBolt system was tested on the same turbine. Currently, #bladebug and #echobolt are two separate technologies, but it can be assumed that with the development of robotic testing and wind turbine repair technology, these technologies will be combined in one machine.