The Latvian company Aerones has developed special robots that climb wind turbines to carry out maintenance work. According to official information, the machines are six times faster than humans and significantly more cost-efficient.
Many countries continue to build numerous new wind turbines. The expansion in this country is currently stalling. Despite this, Germany now generates more than 2,000 megawatts from wind power. However, no matter how many advantages wind brings as a sustainable source of energy, the maintenance of the systems is still proving to be expensive and dangerous.
Normally, trained technicians climb onto wind turbines and maintain the system at a dizzy height. The company Aerones from Latvia wants to change that.
Because Aerones has developed robots that can automatically check and repair wind turbines. The company, which was founded in 2015, has already entered into partnerships with nine of the ten largest manufacturers of such systems.
Robots for wind turbines reduce risks and costs
Aerones is now responsible for 5,000 onshore turbines and 12,000 rotor blades in 19 different countries. In order to increase the number of customers, the company is now presenting the maintenance robot for wind turbines.
This is controlled by three of the company’s technicians from the ground, thereby reducing the risk to people. At the same time, according to the company, maintenance takes six times less time and costs would drop by 40 percent.
Experts transport the robot to a wind turbine and get it ready for use. Due to its compact size, the technology should fit into a small van. The team then lifts the robot onto the facility. This shimmy along the rotor blades and examines them using an ultrasonic scan and several cameras.
Robots maintain and inspect wind turbines
If the robot finds damage or worn areas, it cleans them or fills holes with a special paste. The system also applies a coating to the rotor blades to protect against wear and tear and ice formation. Even cleaning processes are easily possible with a special agent.
With the increasing number of wind turbines, Aerones’ customer base should continue to grow. The robots also solve a problem due to the aggravated situation on the labor market and the associated shortage of skilled workers. Because the number of technicians is not growing as fast as the expansion is progressing. A win-win situation for man and machine?