Wind Energy

Climbing maintenance platform for wind turbines

The more and the longer wind turbine generators (WTGs) are used to generate electricity, the more important the issues of maintenance and repair become. As this is challenging due to the height of the WTGs and can lead to personal accidents, a self-climbing maintenance platform is being developed in the project. This will be used to operate an equipped work cabin at the height of the wings, which will enable the WTGs to be maintained, tested and analysed in any weather.

 

Summary

In the case of WTGs, various signs of age can occur in the course of their service life. These range from crack formation, fatigue and contamination in the rotor blade or tower and wear in the gearbox or overheating of the generator. The maintenance and replacement of components in WTGs is always associated with high costs.

For this reason, the project is developing a self-climbing, frictionally engagend construction that surrounds the tower of the WTG and can transport a working cabin to the rotor blades and nacelle with the aid of a chain drive (SMART robot). The work cabin can be equipped with measuring instruments for materials testing (thermography, microwave and ultrasonic measuring instruments) and repair tools. In addition, the work cabin allows safe and dizziness free work. Ideas for the further development of the SMART robot are autonomous working of the maintenance platform and the transport of exchange and spare parts. By monitoring and analyzing WTG data, which are to be generated when using the SMART robot, the causes of faults and service life can be derived.
Important for the industrial application of the climbing robot is an easy transport and a fast operational readiness.
Demonstration models on a smaller scale have already been built and tested in the project. The construction of a 1:1 scale prototype is planned for 2019.

More Project Information

Project title: SMART (Scanning, Monitoring, Analysis, Repair and Transportation)

Reference number: 0325738A

Project period: 2014 - 2016

Project region: Germany, Baden-Württemberg

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Source: German National Library of Science and Technology Hannover (TIB)