GEV Wind Power is launching a full-size version of its new habitat at the Renewable UK Global Offshore Wind exhibition (June 24-25).
The habitat enables an engineer to conduct essential blade maintenance in a weather-protected environment. This provides a massive step forward in meeting the needs of both field owners, keen to maximize production, and operators who want to reduce wastage from lost maintenance days, says GEV.
The habitat will enable a technician to travel to the top of the blade on the access platform, attach the patented seal and extension sleeves before inflating the habitat at the desired location on the blade. At the same time as remaining dry, the technician will be able to control the temperature and humidity of the environment immediately surrounding the repair area.
Alastair Gadney, GEV Wind Power’s projects director, comments: “We launched the Habitat at Renewable UK 2014 in November, via a virtual reality simulation,” says Gadney. “Eight months on, and with a host of testing and development behind us, it’s great to be to be exhibiting at RUK GOW2015 with a full scale model in which visitors can immerse themselves and experience something pretty close to that of a working technician.”
In recognition of its pioneering turbine blade habitat, GEV Wind Power was awarded Best Offshore Renewables Innovation at the Energy Innovation Awards earlier this year.
The habitat is expected to save the industry between three and five lost days in each maintenance season, potentially returning a minimum of 1-2 percent increase in annual energy production. It is also anticipated to benefit the industry with longer working days and the opportunity for an extended maintenance season due to the introduction of artificial lighting gantries.
GEV Wind Power has already conducted a number of successful on blade trials and is in discussion with major companies about the benefits of the habitat, with the aim to launch it as an integral element of next generation turbines.
The company has also developed its Panoblade camera which rapidly captures high resolution images of an entire turbine blade surface, alleviating the need for hands on inspection. The Panoblade camera is already being used in the field by GEV Wind Power clients and has recently been used to inspect over 70 offshore turbines in less than three weeks.
GEV has a bespoke tablet App, I-RIS (Intuitive Reporting and Inspection System) to record maintenance activity and photograph areas of repair. I-RIS enables technicians to submit near real-time reporting on turbine maintenance activity, which significantly improves the efficiency of maintenance reporting and facilitates timely project management, whilst providing considerable cost savings across the offshore wind sector, says GEV.