GEV Wind Power’s first set of onshore trials for its innovative blade maintenance Habitat have been successfully completed, presenting a major milestone for the company.
The Habitat was installed on Power Climber and Kaeufer access platforms in varying weather conditions and ranging between 30 metres and 100 metres high, with successful deployment demonstrating the flexibility and operability of the Habitat in a real-life environment.
The Habitat enables technicians to conduct essential repairs on remote wind turbines, whilst remaining sheltered from the elements and provides greater scope to schedule repairs throughout the year, mitigating adverse seasonal weather conditions. GEV Wind Power will also be able to offer a 24 hour working window using fixed lighting within the Habitat, ensuring complex repairs are completed and turbines returned to service much quicker than is currently achievable. The Habitat is expected to offer huge savings to both O&M providers and asset owners.
Alastair Gadney, projects director for GEV Group, says of the trial: “With consent recently announced for the development of Galloper Offshore Wind Farm and construction for the East Anglia ONE project planned to progress in 2017, innovations within the wind sector are increasingly important. Our Habitat plays a key role in facilitating O&M operations in this rapidly developing industry, whilst providing cost-saving benefits which are vital throughout the entire supply chain.
“These trials are a huge leap forward in not only reinforcing the concept of the Habitat, but also proving how it can be applied to a range of turbine and access platform sizes. We are also exploring different configurations of the Habitat, from a simple wind break to a more complete waterproof solution.”
The trials also enabled GEV technicians to test the company’s bespoke blade maintenance App, I-RIS (Intuitive Reporting and Inspection System), which facilitates timely project management as data is communicated, near real-time, via satellite to a web-based monitoring and reporting tool. The tests clearly demonstrated the value of I-RIS, which provides a simple interface offering huge savings across data capture and reporting.