This week, we announced our advancement in technology that will make the inspection of wind turbines faster and more reliable for our customers. Currently, an inspector examines the massive turbine blades from the ground (about 100 meters away) by using a high-power telescope. But now, we have partnered with Ithaca, N.Y.-based International Climbing Machines (ICM), to develop a way to do the work using a remote-controlled, robotic device. This device scales the wind tower with a wireless, high-definition camera strapped to its back to take pictures of the wind blades up-close.
Advantages to using the climber over conventional methods include:
- more reliable inspections
- ability to detect and prevent any potential issues earlier
- closer view of the turbine blade to detect repair needs
- better weather tolerance
Currently, we’re investigating the use of nondestructive evaluation sensors, like microwave, that will fit on the robotic vehicle, enabling an even better view of the wind blades. See below for a short clip in which I provide more details or view the press release to learn more.