System integration and ground trials have now been completed in preparation for the inspection of an operational wind turbine.
The SheaRIOS consortium successfully completed the system integration at the iKnowHow laboratory in Athens. This brought together the main system modules (laser shearography unit, crawling robot, climbing robot and overarching control system).
In addition, ground tests for the deployment and operation of the blade crawling robot and the detection of artificial defects have been performed ahead of full system validation trials. Full system trials will take place at height on an operational wind turbine at the Greek Centre for Renewable Energy Sources (CRES). These trials, which will take place in the coming months, will involve semi-autonomous wind turbine blade inspection, without the usual need for rope access technicians working in sometimes dangerous conditions.
SheaRIOS blade crawling robot performing shearographic inspection on a section of wind turbine blade.
Artificial defect successfully detected by the SheaRIOS blade crawling robot with shearographic inspection payload (i.e. classic ‘butterfly’ shearogram indication)