Blade Runner: Robots Raise Wind Efficiency, Production, Cut Costs

December 21, 2022

Interesting Engineering:

Danish energy solutions provider Vestas has unveiled BladeRobots as a stand-alone business with an automated robotic technology solution for the maintenance of wind turbines.

The robot performs automated blade-leading edge maintenance up to “four times faster” than traditional manual methods, according to a press release by the company published on Wednesday. 

“Wind energy will play an increasingly central role in the global energy system, and it is key that we deliver optimal efficiency throughout the operational life of wind turbines,” said Johnny Thomsen, chairman of BladeRobots and former co-chief executive of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind.

“With BladeRobots’ automised robotic solution, the wind industry has a new effective and scalable solution to improve wind turbine performance.”

In order to shorten the time to market and increase the scalability of the robot, the solution was initially created and incubated at Vestas and then spun off as a standalone business, according to the firm. 

For the blades of wind turbines, erosion is a huge problem. The blade surface ages gradually as a result of airborne small particles, ice, snow, and rain. 

It has an adverse effect on the turbine blade’s aerodynamics over time by wearing off the outer layer of the blade. Over the course of the turbine’s lifetime, less and less energy is produced as a result.

As a result, regular wind turbine blade maintenance is crucial to maintaining the structural integrity of the blades and extending the life of the machines.

By restoring aerodynamic performance and decreasing turbine downtime, the unique robot method can raise the annual energy production of wind turbines. 


2 Responses to “Blade Runner: Robots Raise Wind Efficiency, Production, Cut Costs”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Having robots available might change the way they design blades, such that—for example—they design the surface materials to make automated on-site re-application of the finish almost like a brand new blade.

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