Published: July 24th, 2017
Some of Europe’s leading experts will be speaking about the challenges faced in the inspection, testing and monitoring of wind turbines at the NDT 2017 conference
in Telford from 5-7 September.
The annual conference of the British Institute of Non-Destructive Testing (BINDT) will feature a full day of talks on wind turbine inspection and testing, reflecting the continued growth of the renewable energy sector. The conference will run alongside the Materials Testing 2017 exhibition, the most comprehensive of its type in the world.
Dr Colin Brett, who is Technical Head of Inspection Management at Uniper Technologies and who has helped to organise the speaker line-up, says the renewable energy industry needs to find smarter and more cost-effective inspection techniques.
"While standard NDT techniques can often be applied to wind turbines, even the simplest job can sometimes be difficult and expensive," he says. "Given the remote location of many wind farms, the type of inspection that could take a few hours at a power station might take a week and involve hiring a boat crew.
"Techniques can also be difficult to apply – how do you test a blade in mid-air? – while the enormous size of turbines is another issue.
"We are seeing the increased use of drones, and many people are using accelerometers to monitor vibrations in gearboxes and shafts, which are known to be vulnerable to failures. However it is a steep learning curve. We need to find smarter ways to test turbines and learn to inspect only those parts that require it."
The talks will take place on Tuesday 5 September. The Materials Testing exhibition, which runs alongside the conference, will feature over 70 exhibitors and a wide range of seminars and is free to attend for registered visitors.