Grant for Rope Robotics blade repair work
Danish company Rope Robotics has received a major grant to further develop its innovative system for using robots to inspect and repair wind turbine blades writes Dag Pike.
Denmark and Danish companies have been pioneers in many aspects of offshore wind farm development and the government has established a grant scheme to support further development and innovation. This Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program (EUDP) has awarded over €2 million to Danish company Rope Robotics. The funding will be used to support the development and demonstration of the company’s technology which is a robot that can handle all phases of maintenance and repair of offshore wind turbine blades.
Repairs of wind turbine blades are currently being carried out by specially trained rope technicians, which is a high cost and time consuming solution allowing for the repair works to take place only in very good weather conditions. The Rope Robotics solution, using a robot to carry out the inspection and repair work is expected to reduce both the time and costs in blade maintenance and repair thus improving the overall efficiency of the work and reducing downtime.
In the Rope Robotics system a robot can travel the length of a turbine blade using pre-laid ropes and wires to control its movement. The robot is remotely controlled and for inspection work it can be equipped with both photo and laser equipment to provide a record of the condition of the inspected blades. For repair work on the composite blades the robot can be equipped with a variety of tools that enable the work to be carried out effectively under remote control.
Rope Robotics was founded in 2016 by Hans Laurberg and Martin Huus Bjerge and currently employs 10 people. The company is working on a variety of projects and the grant for the wind farm development will enable full scale trials to take place mainly with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of the systems and improving the health and safety aspects of the work.
In this year’s second round of applications, the Danish EUDP has awarded 46 innovative projects with a total approximately €31 million whilst in 2019, EUDP will hand over more than €57.6 million with the first round of applications for EUDP funding in 2019 ending on 1 March.
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