The aim of the project "Autonomous UAV inspection of wind turbine blades" (AeroWind) is to develop an autonomous visual inspection system which will use Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), thus enabling inspection of wind turbine blades without stopping the turbine and interrupting energy production. The project is motivated by the fact that in order to keep wind turbine generators’ production optimised, most wind industry players inspect their blades at least once a year and plan maintenance based on the data collected. Hundreds of thousands of hard to reach wind turbine blades must therefore be inspected every year in Europe and around the world and existing visual inspection methods are rather slow, inaccurate, expensive and require complex coordination and logistics.
Currently, visual inspection methods require the wind turbine to be stopped and specifically positioned in order to be inspected, leading to unavailability and causing significant loss of electricity production and income, especially with modern generators that surpass 10MW capacity.
The AeroWind project started on 1 May 2020, and the project leader at FER is professor Stjepan Bogdan, PhD. FER is currently implementing 20 Horizon 2020 projects.