These Robots Inspect And Repair Wind Turbines, So Humans Don’t Have To

Robots controlled remotely by Aerones, a robotics business, repair, inspect, clean, and ice-proof wind turbines saving both labor and time.

Aerones’ robotic technology is compact. It can be “transported in a single van,” according to the company. It “inspects and maintains turbines up to six times faster and up to 40% more cost-effective than humans,” the company said. It can thereby increase energy yield by 12%.

The base of the Aerones Wind Turbine Leading Edge Repair Robot is built on a modular toolkit. This mechanism offers both vertical and horizontal control. The toolkit holds robotic arms that carry out maintenance and inspection tasks, such as 3M protective tape removal, promoter and surface cleaning, filler solution application, and promoter and leading edge protection coating.

Turbine blades can crack or degrade. The robots can inspect the blades using ultrasonic scanners and cameras, as well as repair them by cleaning and filling degraded surfaces or gaps. They can also apply a protective coating to help prevent future damage, as well as a specific coating to keep ice from developing on the turbines in colder locations.

“We recently released an internal inspection robot that crawls and scans inside wind turbine blades and provides digital twin inspection data with unprecedented detail and a cleaning solution that removes dirt and oil from turbine towers and blades very effectively,” said CTO and cofounder Janis Putrams.

In addition, the robots can also clean the wind turbines by power washing them with liquid detergent and collecting the liquid in funnels beneath the blades so that it may be reused.

Aerones, located in Riga and supported by US startup accelerator Y Combinator, has a US office in San Jose, California. According to its website, the business has serviced 5,000 onshore wind turbines and 12,000 blades in 19 countries so far.

Other repair methods are now being developed and will be accessible in 2023.

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