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Future-proof Rotor Blade Inspection: Enertrag Drones Again Successfully Pass TÜV Test

Dauerthal, Germany - Rotor blade inspection including lightning protection measurement using drones received its second system validation by TÜV Rheinland at the beginning of September 2023.

Already successfully validated by TÜV Nord last year, Enertrag Betrieb consistently pursues an open and transparent technology strategy.

The core idea of the Enertrag method is the measurement of an electric field around the rotor blades. A sensor mounted on the drone is used to simulate a lightning strike with a high-voltage generator connected in the hub, which at 6000 volts is much more accurate than previous methods.

The procedure, which has now also been validated in Germany by TÜV Rheinland, can skip micro-fractures and corrosion in the lightning protection system analogous to a real lightning strike and detect interruptions in the lightning protection system with centimeter accuracy, Enertrag Betrieb announced.

As part of the validation, the company also had its new and enhanced LPS field equipment, consisting of a miniaturized LPS box and an improved signal adapter, verified.

This knowledge is now also made available to other inspection companies in a license model. A plus point: Due to the identical flight path of the drone, the inspection can make a significant contribution to better tracking the occurrence of damage in the past and forecasting it in the future as part of predictive maintenance.

Matthes Schachtner, Head of Technical Services, says: "Damage to the blades can mean high repair costs or even complete replacement, as well as long downtimes with high yield losses. The new, long rotor blades are particularly susceptible to damage due to their high blade tip speed. Especially the new turbine generations are very difficult to inspect by rope climbers due to blade lengths between 70 and 90 meters. Here, our technology offers an efficient solution that means less downtime and lower inspection costs."

Source: IWR Online, Sep 09 2023