Six companies have launched a joint initiative to tackle wind turbine blade erosion by sharing data on how various leading edge protection systems perform in different operating environments
Duke Energy Renewables, EDF Energy (project lead), Engie, Eon, innogy and Kruger Energy have signed a partnership agreement that will see them share data from leading edge protection system trials on windfarms around the world to assess how they operate in different conditions and geographies.
The data will be fed into a central database controlled by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult. Participants will use a standard inspection methodology to ensure consistency and the Catapult will then anonymise and analyse the data, providing insights into the performance of each protection system.
Speaking on behalf of the partners, innogy asset integrity manager at the Galloper windfarm Morten Christiansen said, “Blade performance is fundamental to the efficiency of a windfarm. By sharing data across numerous sites, the partners will be able to review how different leading edge protection systems operate and then apply the information to improve planning and maintenance.”
Annual inspections will take place during the same season and reports will be centrally supplied to ORE Catapult, who will manage the access to the shared data.
ORE Catapult’s engineering lead Dr Hamish MacDonald said, “As an independent and trusted industry data handler, the Catapult will provide cutting-edge insights into the performance of the various leading-edge protection systems being used, helping operators to better plan their operations and maintenance activities.”
A minimum of three leading-edge protection systems will be compared and the data categories will include local atmospheric details such as wind speeds, rainfall and UV exposure, wind turbine type and time in operation.
EDF project leader Dr Camélia Ben Ramdane said, “This project is a great opportunity to collaborate on an issue that most wind operators must tackle. To be able to share this with partners operating windfarms all over the world, hence covering many environmental conditions, is a real benefit to all.
“New partners are welcome to join and take part in this project and we expect to know the outcome in about three years. I am confident we can all rely on ORE Catapult and benefit from their proven knowledge in the field of leading edge erosion to analyse our data.”
The joint initiative group is actively seeking new partners for the project from all onshore and offshore wind turbine suppliers and operators, including those who may already be performing trials on their windfarms.