The Danish EUDP programme supports a project regarding operational costs on WT blades. The project involves the collaboration between Bladena as Project Manager and a Large international network of WTOs, manufacturers, universities and technology compani
Having successfully completed two major research projects (RATZ and LEX), Bladena has been successful to continue the collaboration with EUDP and 22 companies in a new 2-years project called CORTIR.
The partners cover the entire value chain, viz. manufacturers (OEM), wind turbine owners (WTO), service, insurance, technology companies as well as two Danish universities. The main deliverable is a new decision support tool (CAR-Tool) that aims at improving the decision making for operation and maintenance strategies in the wind industry; the overall objective being to minimize costs and risk.
At the CORTIR Kick-Off Meeting last week Vestas (OEM), CODAN (insurance company) and Engie (WTO) attended a panel discussion. See photo below:
Photo from Kick-off meeting: Left: Project manager from Bladena Find Mølholt Jensen, Finn Thyrring from CODAN, Louise Bach Christensen from EUDP, Craig Langford from Vestas, Nicolas Quiévy from Engie and Finn Mogensen CEO in Bladena and board member representing Spring Nordic (Investment company)
The discussions – as well as the very active net-working - with the panel and the 21 participating partners were very constructive. A clear consensus exists between the parties, that a further development in the level of collaboration throughout the whole value chain will support all partners in the focus on reducing the operational cost (OPEX), maintenance and risk, especially structurally related blade damages.
Today, when damages and failures occur on blades, it is semi-unexcepted and often outside the operational budget implying that the associated costs for repair actions may end up as a dispute between WTOs, OEMs and insurance companies. Until now each player has had individual strategies for how to handle such situations, but the overall aim of the current project is to demonstrate how the new developments can provide a common strategy platform for the WTOs, the OEMs and the insurance companies based on the shared goal to reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCoE). The development will involve a close dialogue with the entire value chain in the wind energy industry. The project will focus on the financial aspects of the different blades’ defects and how they can efficiently be prevented and maintained to obtain the optimal strategy both money and time wise.
EUDP - The Danish Government Scheme for Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program - has awarded financial support to the CORTIR project proposed by a partnership of 21 industry companies and 2 universities headed up by Bladena ApS. The total budget for the project is 28.8 million DKK (3.9 million Euro) and the EUDP support is 51%.
CORTIR - Cost and Risk Tool for Interim and Preventive Repair – includes the development of a sophisticated - yet user-friendly - numerical tool (CAR-Tool) to optimize the management of turbine blade maintenance in terms of risks and costs, with the main focus to reduce the Levelized Cost of Energy and secure alignment towards maintenance throughout the full value chain. Early work in this area has illustrated that significant improvements can be achieved by employing an all-encompassing and rigorous tool based on known structural issues.
The CAR-Tool input parameters will be widespread from reliability data to detailed knowledge about structural blade and composite behaviour during operation of the wind turbines. Relating the technical inputs to the cost structures within O&M activities, the tool output will suggest an optimum inspection and maintenance strategy to be used for decision making which is both technically and financially sound.
CORTIR will further demonstrate how blade retrofits can be deployed beneficially in this effort and support the reduction of LCoE by diverting from standard repair solutions. This part of the project includes both experimental and theoretical work.
The project aims at benefiting everyone engaged in the blade maintenance activities, the owners as well as the companies that provide maintenance services to the industry, i.e. manufacturers, wind turbine owners, service companies and insurance companies. The importance of covering the entire value chain is reflected by the comprehensive list companies that participate and sponsor the project.
”We look forward to be part of this project and give our input on how the industry can minimize Risk and O&M cost on blades.” says Finn Thyrring Technical manager from CODAN insurance which are partner in the project.
Partners are: Bladena, AAU Civil Engineering, DTU Mechanical Engineering, Kirt x Thomsen, ECC, Guide2Defect, Codan, Global Wind Service, E.ON, Engie, Hofor, EDF Energy, Equinor (Statoil), Innogy, EWII, Acciona Energy, Arise, Ørsted, Enel, Vector Cuatro (Part of FalckRenewable), LM Windpower, Nordex and Vestas.
The project will start in January 2019 and it will run for two years.
Additional information is available via the CORTIR project manager Find Mølholt Jensen +45 53700276 firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMFutuRe will in the future represent Bladena on the Spanish market as an authorized dealer and installation partner of Bladena’s products. In view of the increasing demand for blade repairs and maintenance in Europe the collaboration between Bladena and IMFutuRe is a deliberate decision to accommodate those demands.
With more than 18 years of experience in management, administration, operation and maintenance of facilities in the wind industry IMFutuRe is a well-established key player on the Spanish market with a strong portfolio of customers. Seeing many different types of blade damages (both minimal and critical failures) IMFutuRe has expert insight about the increasing problems different blades are facing which is of great value to Bladena.
“We see and hear a lot about the increasing blade failures that challenges the lifetime of blades on the market. But to be able to help prevent these problems we need insight from repair and maintenance experts as they see, in a larger perspective, how the problems physically evolves by being present on site. With our expertise in structural behavior and damages and ImFutuRe’s knowledge on problems occurring on site, we will be able to bring our retrofit products out on the Spanish market through our new partner,” says Anders Søe-Jensen, CEO of Bladena.
With more than 20,000 wind turbines installed in over 1,000 farms Spain has become one of the world leaders in the wind industry. With the large amount of wind turbines in operation, Spain is a market with a large potential both for Bladena and IMFutuRe: supporting wind turbine owners and operators in keeping the blades structurally fit and in operation during the lifetime of the turbines.
Bladena has for the last 7 years focused on developing quality retrofit products that prevent and minimize blade failures with the simple aim to increase the lifetime and durability of blades. This work will now be taken to the next level in Spain together with IMFutuRe.
International group of wind turbine owners gather in Copenhagen to attend seminar on Next Generation Inspection Methods
18 wind turbine owner companies attend the Next Generation Inspection Methods Seminar June 4th-6th to discuss how to reduce Operation & Maintenance (O&M) cost. A topic many WTOs seek answers to as larger blades increasingly show signs of structural issues after end of warranty.
Each year wind turbine owners, as part of the WTO Blade Group Network, meet to discuss blade related issues. This year’s seminar focuses on inspection methods; what is done today and what should be done in the future, adding the aspect of Owners Requirements to future blades. To explore today’s methods, inspection experts from around the world present advanced technologies with new improved data and results.
ENGIE’s Wind Technology Manager, Nicolas Quiévy, says: “New steps have to be made today to better assess the blade condition. Improvements and changes in blade inspection methodologies not only aim to minimize downtime and risk of failure because of severe damages that were not anticipated, but will also increase knowledge about (future) blade design, and maintenance strategies to be adopted.”
Today (June 4th) the participants arrived at Bladena in Roskilde to discuss why and how blades fail and how these failures can be avoided by adding new Owners Requirements’ criteria to existing blade certification standards. The Owners Requirements and Inspection methods go hand in hand as both topics through different approaches attempt to improve the performance and lifetime of blades, which is the wind turbine owners’ main concern.
Continuing at FORCE Technology June 5th Aracnocoptero, Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Hensoldt, Siemens, Das Nano NOTUS, IMFUTURE and FORCE Technology will present new technologies and knowledge on blade inspection discussing the different types of blade failures occurring and the need for a systemized and standardized inspection data roadmap.
Project Manager and CTO of Bladena, Find Mølholt Jensen, says: “As Project Manager for both projects, Bladena is devoted to increase the awareness about structural related blade issues. Through the RATZ and EWIC projects Bladena sees a positive growth in the interest from wind turbine owners, insurance companies, inspection and blade experts who are eager to come together to exchange experience on how to reduce maintenance cost and more so the lifetime of blades”.
This year, a third day has been added to the seminar with the focus on failure in composite materials (on wind turbine blades). The wind turbine owners will have the opportunity to witness physical test results of blade failures that are not detected by today’s inspection methods. Day 3 (June 6th) will take place at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in Lyngby.
The WTO seminar is partly funded through the EWIC Project (End of Warranty Inspection Concepts) facilitated by Offshoreenergy.dk through the European Regional Development Fund under the heading CRIF - Cost Reduction and Innovative Forum and partly under the RATZ Project funded by the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP), which is administered by the Danish Energy Agency.
Wind Turbine Owners and insurance companies attending the WTO Next Generation Inspection Methods Seminar: Acciona Energy, Brookfield Renewable, EDF Energy, Eneco, Enel, ENGIE, E.ON, EWII, Gemini Wind Park, HOFOR, Innogy, Natural Power, RES, ScottishPower Renewables, Statoil, Stena Renewable, Vattenfall, WindMW Service GmbH and CODAN.
Bladena is experiencing a growing interest and demand for its structural enhancements reinforcing existing wind turbine blades. To keep up with the positive development the board has decided to strengthen the sales team and hired Christian Nordal as of April 15th. Christian Nordal will focus on the North American aftermarket and select global customers using his extensive knowledge in business development and many years of experience within the wind industry.
Ryan Lauridsen, CSO, will in the future focus on the many opportunities on the European aftermarket which is continuing its positive response to the gains and benefits of Bladena’s structural retrofit solutions.
Leading all the efforts is CEO Anders Søe-Jensen who will focus strongly on the OEM market. CTO Find Mølholt Jensen and his technical team will continue supporting the commercial activities.
Bladena develops and demonstrates the X-Stiffener™ technology in the Offshore Demonstration Blade (ODB) Project
The Offshore Demonstration Blade (ODB) Project develops seven new technologies to reduce the production cost of wind energy in turbines installed offshore. It is financed with four million euros from funds from the EU's Horizon 2020 Program. Researchers from ten universities and companies from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Holland and Spain participate in the ODB Project, which held its General Assembly 2018 in Valencia.
Partners for the EUDP: Bladena, DIS Engineering, Total Wind, DTU Mechanical Engineering, Collaboration Partners in the EU-Demo project from UK, Holland and Spain: Catapult, TNO, Aerox, Gamesa
The EWIC project will demonstrate how the value of end of warranty inspections can be enhanced – with the overall objective to reduce LCoE and extend the operational lifetime of the blades.
Currently, there are no official statistics of structural damages on the blades and especially not for newer turbines where the failure rate is significant higher than for small turbines. However, the area is of high importance to the wind turbine owners and a well-known fact. Still most of inspections are performed on the outside of the blade, which only shows the “top of the iceberg”. Inspecting inside the blade, in the areas that are critical, will show the small part underneath the “iceberg”, and if NDT are used, a higher picture of the damages will be shown. Often, the results of inadequate inspection are formation of structural damages, that in worst case leads to blade failure or total turbine failure. Visualization by Kirt x Thomsen
Vattenfall, E.ON, HOFOR together with The Blade Group Network – consisting of more than 30 wind turbine owners – have strongly encouraged that new concepts for the inspection of turbine blades at the end of warranty need to be developed. Their wish is to profoundly incorporate results of the latest research activities and extensive field experience in this work.
The wind turbine owners have teamed up with OffshoreEnergy.dk, Bladena, Total Wind BLAEST, Kirt-Thomsen and FORCE Technology to achieve this objective – optimize the quality of the blade inspection method and develop a common understanding/standard for how this work should be done in the future.
Anders Søe-Jensen, CEO at Bladena and former CEO of GE Offshore and Vestas Offshore, says:
“As a standard, blades have for many years been inspected from the outside without any internal inspections. We know today, that even if the blade surface looks intact there may be serious issues to be found on the inside of the blades and even inside the panel structures. Therefore, the implementation of new inspection methods is to extend the lifetime by reducing maintenance costs and minimizing the future down-time.”
Hence, the EWIC project partners have agreed to thoroughly investigate options for inspections of the blades from the inside and inside the material.
The project will define the details of how inside visual inspections should be carried out. The deployment of small size cameras and NDT in critical areas will be explored.
Visual inspection and NDT techniques will be combined with knowledge about theoretical failure modes, failure modes found in the laboratory tests and with data from blades damaged in the field. This will allow the definition of an optimal strategy for the use of NDT methods such as thermography and ultrasound in selected areas.
Bergen Group AAK and Bladena ApS have established a cooperation agreement on future assignments towards the wind power market. The goal is to strengthen competitiveness and market position towards an increasing market for maintenance and lifetime extension of wind park installations. The agreement also opens for cooperation on deliveries to new installations, both onshore and offshore.
Torgeir Nærø, CEO in Bergen Group ASA and MD in the subsidiary Bergen Group AAK, describes the cooperation agreement as an important operational and strategic measure to strengthen the company's position towards the wind power industry.
"In recent years, we have established a strong foothold in the wind power segment through various service and framework agreements with both national and international companies. By establishing this cooperation agreement with internationally acknowledged Bladena ApS in Denmark, we further strengthen our focus on this market "says Torgeir Nærø.
The CEO points out that Bergen Group AAK has long experience in performing various types of service and maintenance operations under conditions with demanding access. Bladena ApS, in turn, has a strong position as a supplier of dynamic analyzes associated with loads and compensating measures for turbine blades. Compensating measures include mechanical components that correct, amplify and prolong the operational timeline. The field proven solutions increase the power output per turbine.
"We see an increasing demand for improved performance on wind power installations with exposed turbines and unnecessarily high loads. At the same time, we experience an increase in the demand for our services towards the market for lifetime extension of wind turbine blades. The collaboration with Bladena ApS gives both parties a strengthened competitiveness in this market”, Nærø states.
Bladena ApS is headquartered in Roskilde, Denmark, and is an established product and service provider for turbine blades for the European and American wind power markets. Bladena's technology platform originates from more than 10 years of research and development work at DTU-Risø in Denmark. Amongst others, this work formed the basis for 7 patents, which was taken over by Bladena, when it was launched as a spin-out from DTU in 2011. For more information, visit www.bladena.com
Bergen Group AAK is a fully owned subsidiary of Bergen Group ASA. The company is experts on access techniques utilized for maintenance, modifications and operations, typically for work at height or areas with complicated access. Bergen Group AAK operate in various markets, including service on oil and gas up- and downstream facilities, on- and offshore wind parks, bridges and tunnels for road and rail, hydropower stations and other infrastructure. The company is headquartered at Sotra outside Bergen, and has approx. 60 employees.
More information is found at www.bladena.com or www.bergengroup.no
Ryan Lauridsen, Chief Sales Officer in Bladena ApS, phone +45 20 14 59 96
Torgeir Nærø, CEO of Bergen Group ASA and MD in Bergen Group AAK; phone +47 922 00 778
Bladena tests blade with combined loading which confirms that D-Stiffener™ avoids cracks on the trailing edge panels
As the awareness about blade failures caused by combined loads increases, the need for changing blade design standards and certification has become a very discussed topic. As part of the EUDP RATZ project, Bladena did a full-scale test with combined loading at BLAEST on a 34m blade. Also, the structural impact of Bladena’s D-Stiffener™ was tested and the expected increase in buckling capacity of the trailing edge area was demonstrated.
Full-scale test with combined loading
The test was loaded with a combined edge and flapwise loading. The load was selected with the angle that gives higher loads. The load was applied at four radial positions of the blade.
The classical way of applying loads in a full-scale blade is by load clamps. Using clamps will restrict the blade to deform and thus prevent it to get the failure modes to evaluate if they occur during the test.
A full-scale test with combined static loads was performed at the certified blade test center BLAEST as part of the EUDP project called RATZ. Measurements in the trailing edge of a 34 meter blade were taken to capture bending/buckling of the trailing edge panels. The load applied was a combination of flap and edgewise loading, which is known to be a more critical load than the traditional pure flap and edge.
The implementation of the tests was proven to not be very demanding making it possible to implement in a short period of time.
Strain measurements showed a clear effect of the D-Stiffeners™. Based on these measurements it was concluded that the actual blade, which showed buckling at a load level at 48%, had no buckling with the D-Stiffeners™ installed when the test was stopped at approximate 60% loading.