Blade inspection and minor repair consists of the inspection of the condition of blades and repairing minor blade issues in a timely and cost-effective manner.

Who supplies them

Repair service suppliers: Bladefence, Deutsche Windtechnik, GEV, Global Wind Service, Mistras and Worley.

Inspection technology suppliers: ABJ, Cornis, Scoptico and SkySpecs.

Blade inspection and minor repair being carried out by a rope-access technician.
Blade inspection and minor repair being carried out by a rope-access technician. Image courtesy of Altitec. All rights reserved.

Key facts

Blade inspection and minor repair is an area of specific focus in the offshore wind industry. Issues such as leading-edge erosion have been the source of availability issues in the industry, and proactive blade inspection and preventative repair is now widely pursued in response.

Blade inspections are performed by drones equipped with high-resolution cameras, by rope-access technicians or by high-resolution camera equipment located on the transition piece or vessel.

Where minor repairs are required, this is sometimes possible using rope-access teams often using a blade platform suspended from the hub.

Where a blade cannot be repaired in-situ or replaced at site, it is expected to be towed back to port where the major repair or replacement can be undertaken using either an onshore crane or a jack-up vessel.

Blade inspection work typically requires the turbines to be stationary, therefore there is a focus on performing inspection work during the less windy periods of the year to minimise lost energy production.

Specialist expertise is required to undertake damage diagnostics and repair activities.

Automation of blade inspection and damage diagnostics is an active area of innovation, as is the ability run the diagnostics on an operating turbine (that is, without the need for the rotor to be stationary).

What’s in it

Guide to a Floating Offshore Wind Farm