in News Departments > Products & Technologies
print the content item

GE Global Research is exploring a technology that the company says will make the inspection of wind turbines faster and more reliable.

Usually, an inspector examines the massive turbine blades from the ground, about 100 meters away, by using a high-power telescope. Now, partnering with Ithaca, N.Y.-based International Climbing Machines (ICM), GE engineers have explored a way to do the work using a remote-controlled, robotic device that can scale the wind tower with a wireless, high-definition video camera strapped to its back.

The goal of the project is to obtain a more accurate picture of the overall health of the wind turbine blades. From the safety of the ground, an inspector would have a real-time view of the blades from less than 10 meters away, allowing for a more thorough examination and evaluation of their condition, the company explains.

The new technology was recently tested at a wind farm in Texas, and had positive results, according to GE.

Another advantage of using the climber over conventional methods is better weather tolerance - inspections will no longer have to be delayed due to poor lighting conditions, rain or snow.

GE scientists are developing a microwave scanner that could be fitted onto the robotic vehicle, enabling an even better view of the wind blades. The use of microwaves would allow inspectors to see through the blade material, providing an earlier indication of any breakdown in the structure, the company explains. At GE's India Technology Center, scientists are also testing the use of small, helicopter-like vehicles that would provide for a similar view.



Trachte Inc._id1770
Latest Top Stories

Bird Groups Target LEEDCo's Icebreaker Offshore Wind Pilot

Two bird conservation groups that helped halt a wind project earlier this year argue that Lake Erie Energy Development Corp.'s (LEEDCo) 18 MW offshore demo poses a major risk to regional wildlife.


Report Disputes U.S. Agency's Renewable Energy Projections

A new analysis from the Sun Day Campaign says renewables are slated to provide 16% of U.S. generating capacity by 2018 - over 20 years earlier than forecast by the Energy Information Administration.


Kansas Renewables Mandate Survives Yet Another Attack, But Is It Too Early To Celebrate?

Over the past three years, some legislators have tried to either weaken or repeal the state's renewable portfolio standard, which requires Kansas utilities to reach 20% renewables by 2020.


AWEA Highlights U.S. Wind Success Stories Of 2013

Despite a 92% drop in new capacity last year, the sector still has myriad reasons to celebrate, according to a new report from the American Wind Energy Association.


Feds List New Bird Species As Threatened - Should Wind Developers Be Worried?

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is designating the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. An expert explains how this might affect the wind industry.

UEA_id1896
WomenofWind_id
Acciona_id1907
JLG_id1900
bonfiglioli_id1913
AWEA_id1886