Blades are amongst the most critical components of a wind turbine, producing the aerodynamic forces which drive the rotorto generate electricity. Degradation to blade surfaces can reduce their aerodynamic efficiency and energy generationcapabilities. A failure to the blade structure can result in the turbine being shut down all together until maintenance workcan be undertaken to repair or replace the damaged blade. Structural blade failures can also present a significant healthand safety risk for onshore turbines located close to residential areas; severely damaged blades can be thrown fromturbines at high speeds. In short, blade surface degradation and structural failures can cause loss of energy production andrevenues, and can present a major health and safety risk.Wind turbine are currently inspected at periodic points in time to determine the condition of the blades. The goal of thisproject is to develop Planatir: a product that consists of hardware that is able to continuously and automatically monitor thestate of wind turbine blades, and BladeClarity: software automating the analysis of images and acoustic data from windturbine blades. Planatir will be developed to inspect damage (cracks and delamination) using visual sensors and severe damage on the tipof the blade (cracks, erosion and debonding) using acoustic sensors (defects that create a high risk of blade failure).
BladeClarity will be developed to i) automate the detection of external and internal defects on a wind turbine blade inaccordance with the manufacturers wear and tear documentation, ii) automate the classification of acoustic data from windturbine blades, and iii) automate the planning of repairs on a wind turbine blade.