Wind Turbine Shearography Robotic Inspection On-blade System


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


Contact Manager: P. Rasera

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 780662. This publication reflects only the author’s views and the European Union is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.