An Advanced Vibrothermography Approach for Wind Turbine Applications
Small Business Information
130 North Main, Suite 600, Butte, MT, 59701
AbstractThe reliability of wind turbine systems is greatly impacted by hidden defects. Therefore, an improved method of inspection is sought for the manufactured composite materials used in these systems. In addition, an inspection method is also needed in the field, to assure quality during and after installation. This project will develop a reliable, portable, instrumentation system that can be utilized during the manufacture of wind turbine composite members, at the time of installation, and throughout the lifetime of wind turbine systems. The system will be based on an advanced vibrothermography technique that will detect and characterize manufacturing flaws, along with the damage done to turbine blades and supporting structures thought their service life. Algorithms will be derived to distinguish and determine the types of manufacturing defects, shipping damage, and fatigue related failure flaw types. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee:: The inspection technology should increase the reliability of wind turbine systems, thereby decreasing yearly operation and maintenance costs, which are approximately 30% of the total cost of a wind turbine. An additional benefit is that the final commercial system will include software algorithms for ¿smart¿ identification of flaws; therefore, interpretation of the results would not require a high level of skill.
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