Friday 17 September 2010

My comment on Vestas blade incident announcement

Blade incident on V112-3.0 MW prototype in Lem, Denmark
(Ref: Vestas announcement No. 35/2010)

Randers, 10 September 2010: On Wednesday 8 September 2010, a blade piece detached from Vestas’ V112-3.0 MW prototype wind turbine located in Lem, Denmark.

Tuesday 14 September 2010

Rotor blade damage classes

1. Preliminary Note

The aim of this posting is to describe classes of findings within damage assessment and its requirements and responsibilities of servicing.

Sunday 9 May 2010

Blade production evaluation through damage assessment experience

Request for partnership with Benchmarking Center (ICB) at Fraunhofer IPK Berlin was wrapped up in order to define strategies for best practices on a management level of this sector. Dr. Holstein explained the core structural blade characteristics of turbine market leaders, common production technologies and its history and name the most frequently identified production related blade failures. His contribution was peppered with numerous updated inspection findings. Main difficulty in walking through the 5 step benchmarking model is the acquisition of the right industrial partners to join an open minded process to learn. I hear you say: This is impossible in wind business! But what the hell, I like this basic approach option.

Thursday 4 March 2010

Non destructive testing of blades before installation

Again questions arise if there is a way to test blades before installation or even after mounting with ultrasonics and/or infrared technology in order to quantify quality level or invisible or masked failures.

NDT techniques like the mentioned (US and IR) today (and I think for a long time in future) are not made to be used as a method for inspection of blades before installation in farms under construction. Both techniques have to be selected and adapted for the case of inspection one intends to do. IR has good features if you search for defects close to the surface. US have better potential if you want to look into the deep layers of structure. But non of these techniques can be used from root section to tip without dramatic change of parameters and system devices and measuring methods like frequencies, coupling heads, calibration and software setup. In other words: if you already know what kind of local fixed defect you are searching for and you already have tested and evaluated all these parameters for this case of testing, you have a slightly chance to be successful to find what you search for.

NDT like US and IR is not an all-purpose inspection feature and are to be chosen for very special assessment of blade defects. A day to day holistic blade quality inspection (inside and outside) like we do in many cases before installation is based on knowledge of the specific production process of the series production, the experience of noticed problems with this type of blade and the intuition of an old fox in the field of polymer chemistry, structural principles of blade design, aerodynamics, mass-dynamics of lightweight structures and last but not least independent standing of experts reference.

If you believe NDT blade testing is ready and in place for an universal monitoring of blade quality you may have been trapped by pseudo-scientific stories about fantastic new imaging techniques which is fiction for sure.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

You ask for more information about the book project: tell the story of a case

First of all I would like to thank you all for your openness to contribute in one or the other way. I would very much appreciate if you could manage to describe a case where your technique or the concept you promoted was successful. This might be, for example, NDT in detecting rotor blade defects. There is some fascinating experience I know of, where ultrasound specialists have scanned sandwich sections with balsa core material where glass fibre layers were partially cut in some inexpressible stupid production process steps. If you don’t mind and if you are able to tell this story without embarrassing the involved parties, this way of illumination of the manuscript has my preference. That long winding canticle your competitors offer talking of putative ingenious equipment is boring to me. My intention is to act on fact boiling down the stories of this book.

I have some other "stories", or let us say "cases" in mind:
-> the peril of what we call greased lightning or
-> the putative efficiency of the 24 hours production cycle or
-> total blade quality through cascading qualified subsystem elements like embedded inserts, pultruded or prelaminated and consolidated structural sections and others.

What about your "story"? No wrinkles, collapsed flanges, tumbling webs ...
How do you feel about active load controlled single pitched blades?
What is the first thing you blade-brained guys have in mind if you go for 10 Megawatt machines?

Anyway - deadline of this call for contribution is coming up soon and I will get back to you offering a conference call for authors of the short list.

Take care - we do.