Performance and Lifecycle Reliability for your Wind Turbine Assets
Wind turbine blade inspections and anomaly detection have come a long way. Drones, burst photography, and ultrasonic testing are just a few of the methods that operators can use to help prevent against failures both small and catastrophic. But what if there were a new way to inspect your blades? What if there were a turbine blade inspection system that could detect issues while your blades were still rotating?
It’s all possible—with GE’s new ground-based thermal wind turbine blade inspection system - SABRE. Most downtower blade inspections can only tell you what’s happening with the surface of your blade—but most of the issues that lead to larger failures are deeper within. With SABRE’s thermal imaging technology and wide-band acoustic spectral analysis, you’ll be able to detect anomalies in wind turbine blades across your entire wind fleet, both GE and non-GE turbines, with a higher degree of accuracy, as well as their precise location. And the OpEx you’ll save contributes to the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE).
Benefits of the SABRE Wind Turbine Blade Inspection System
- Reduce physical inspections with safer repairs. The SABRE system's self-contained modular collection system provides real-time data analytics fast and safely, since there’s no need to send technicians into or onto the turbine itself.
- Take advantage of an early wind turbine blade detection program with a proactive approach, addressing potential issues before they become larger and more expensive, reducing your blade O&M costs by up to 25%.
- Use a one stop wind turbine blade inspection solution that is applicable for your entire fleet—regardless of wind turbine model or manufacturer.
- Identify and mitigate defective repairs, increasing the life of your wind turbine.
- Keep your turbine up and running, since SABRE can be completed with your blades still rotating, which maintains output and saves you money and increases the wind turbine’s lifecycle
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An Essential Part of Your Wind Turbine Blade Lifecycle Management
As turbines age, so do their blades—and identifying problems early is vital to keep your costs down and assets running.
The costs add up quickly. For example, repairing a category 4 anomaly could take triple the time of a category 3. The importance of detecting potential issues early cannot be understated. That’s where GE's wind turbine thermal blade inspection system can help.
How Does SABRE work?
The SABRE camera system is mounted to the bed of a truck and taken to the base of your wind turbine. The camera system takes images of your turbine blades, with the turbine still running, that provide real-time view of the subsurface of the blade. SABRE, when combined with GE’s digital capabilities, provides advanced imaging.
Additionally, certain blade anomalies under rotation produce a distinct sound. GE’s wind turbine inspection technology can detect these sounds and pinpoint the specific location within the blade of the anomaly.
And with GE’s InspectionWork Platform, GE can assist you in maintaining your assets and enhance the way that you manage them long after your SABRE wind turbine blade inspection has been completed. Our digital solutions offer tools to organize, search, filter, disposition, and examine trends across data for multiple components on all your assets.
Which Wind Turbine Blade Anomalies Can SABRE Detect?
The SABRE advantage
With the multitude of wind turbine blade inspection options in the market, it’s hard to know which technologies or software can help you best identify which potential and actual defects. We’ve made it easy for you.
Take a look at the chart below. You’ll see that GE's thermal blade inspection system can detect a variety of anomalies. Whether you’re dealing with severe blade damage or a smaller issue, or whether your anomaly is on or far below the surface of your wind turbine blades, GE can help you detect it faster and sooner.