SheaRIOS is a solution for the Wind Turbine Blade (WTB) inspection industry that enables easier, faster and more accurate inspection utilising robotics and shearography, a high-quality method that is applied outside of the laboratory for the first time. A deployment platform will ascend on the wind turbine tower and deploy a work climber on the base of the blade. The climber will move on the blade by means of air-suction and carry out inspection with a shearography kit on a cantilever. The deployment platform will also act as the power and data link.
Operational modeling is done by EDF, the end-users that drive this Innovation Action. Preliminary testing and validation of the market-readiness of SheaRIOS robotic application will take place at their site, both on-shore (EDF R&D) and off-shore (EDF Renewables). Three competitive small and mid-scale technology companies from three European countries will contribute so Europe will (1) integrate more wind power, (2) reduce operational costs, (3) keep the technology lead, and (4) remain a major export. As per Wind Europe, these are the targets for enabling wind to become the backbone of our electricity generation system.
Based on our analysis, the non-destructive testing service provider would save 1,055€ per wind turbine inspection and payback of SheaRIOS investment will be achieved after 152 inspections, or the first 2 years. The wind farm operator will save more than 1 full day per wind turbine inspection, because of the reduced inspection time, which directly translates to less revenue lost due to idle wind turbines. Finally, the cumulative savings for a period of the first 5 years will translate to €92.74m, assuming SheaRIOS will be successful in averting just 20% of the unforeseen WTB failures and contributing to increased health and safety for the rope access workers that are involved in hundreds of accidents each year.
Project Budget: 3’393’933€
LEITAT Budget: 440’000 €
Financial Framework: Horizon 2020
Contract number: 780662
Start Date: 01/01/2018
End Date: 31/12/2020