Developing a Wind Turbine Blade Management Program with BladeEdge℠

A Wind Turbine Blade Management Program (BMP) is a critical component to the lifetime management of your blades. A BMP is a repository for important manufacturing information, temporal blade inspections and service history, ensuring the data you need is easily accessible and stored in the same place. With this data at your fingertips, you’ll be ready to navigate any warranty, service or insurance claims that may arise, and can easily track all correspondence and outcomes.

CAPTURE – Expert Blade Inspections

The foundation of any BMP is capturing quality data, and our BladeEdge Inspect℠ service is the first step in managing wear and damage on your blades. We leverage market-leading drone and sensor platforms to complete expertly piloted UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems) blade inspections. Consider scheduling an inspection if:

  • Your blades are coming out of warranty
  • You are selling or buying a wind farm
  • You’ve noticed unexplained noises or vibrations
  • Recent storms may have damaged your infrastructure
  • Your infrastructure is in an abrasive environment (salt, sand, etc.)
  • You’re due for an annual blade inspection

Our in-house flight team and regional partners throughout the U.S. are trained and certified to use our BladeEdge Capture Assistance Tool (BECAT℠) to ensure our pilots capture a complete data set in the field. BECAT℠ also packages the imagery for processing by BladeEdge℠ , saving an incredible amount of time and eliminating the opportunity for human error. We also enable in-house technicians to capture data the BladeEdge℠  Way. This allows you to take control of your inspection process.

COMPUTE – From Big Data to Actionable Intelligence

Once the inspection is complete, the data is processed by BladeEdge’s℠ sophisticated image treatment process and deep learning algorithms. This gives our clients access to a complete, close-up image of their infrastructure that highlights areas of damage or concern.

BladeEdge℠  was designed with tolerance for sub-optimal weather conditions, and edge and anomaly detection capabilities can be used to analyze any type of composite blade. Each time data is collected, BladeEdge℠  software further trains itself to recognize damage and wear.

CONSUME – Developing a Blade Management Plan

All the data available to our clients through the BladeEdge℠  platform can be put to work. Complete, close-up imagery of all blades can inform asset management planning and inspection organization. In addition, our clients can compare historical inspection data with current imagery to track wear patterns on blades.

Over time, BladeEdge’s℠ predictive modeling will provide the wind industry with a better understanding how blades age. This will allow owners and operators to develop proactive maintenance plans that will extend the life of infrastructure and increase annual energy production.

Your Next Step

It all begins with an inspection. Many opinions vary, but we recommend scheduling three inspections within the blade’s two-year warranty period. Your first inspection should take place upon installation or commissioning to assure successful factory-to-turbine transportation. This will provide you with a day-one clear picture of your new blade, so we can begin to track its lifespan.

One year later we recommend a second inspection. This will provide an understanding of how the blade may begin to wear and identify any early issues that may be covered under warranty.

Before the warranty period expires, we recommend scheduling a third inspection. If any warranty or insurance claims are required, the BladeEdge℠ software will help owners and operators to facilitate the process and negotiate any necessary repairs.

After the warranty period expires, we recommend annual inspections. Having an expert inspection completed each year will allow you to proactively manage your wind turbine blades.

Let’s get started.