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Efficient energy cleaning robotic platform for wind turbines (EeC WITUR)

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - EeC WITUR (Efficient energy cleaning robotic platform for wind turbines (EeC WITUR))

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2015-10-31

The following tasks were defined in the first phase of SME Instrument inside of feasibility study:

• Task 1: Technical Feasibility. Adjustment of prototypes to the various customers who will test them, and Task 4: User Involvement. A series of in-depth studies and surveys regarding the assessment of the EeC WITUR product will be conducted both in relation to clients and the society in general as well.

• Task 2: Risk Assessment, and Task 3: Market Research.

• Task 5: IP Management.

• Task 6: Business Strategy; Task 7: Commercialization Plan; Task 8: Financial Plan.
During the Phase 1, TSR´s team has finished the design and construction of the improved version of the robotic platform. The new version meets the objectives set construction fixed as major power, better adherence and mobility, less size, lower weight and improvement of electronic, including new sensors to determine the position, height and angle of the robotic platform at all times. This has also led to an improved connectivity to the control center.

This latest prototype was tested on a small scale and in field tests, in several potential customers under real performance parameters to deliver good results. These tests were conducted in Albacete in Carcelén Wind Farm owned by Elecdey in March, May and June 2015, also in Soria in Cetasa owned Wind Farm in July 2015.
During the phase 1 of SME Instrument, TSR has defined many crucial things for the project, defining a large volume market for services studied (thanks to market research developed) for EeC WITUR, therefore, endorsing the business opportunity generated, and establishing a business plan quite ambitious.

On the other hand, have been defined realization priority services to be performed for inspection and cleaning tasks, some of them defined thanks to the different visits with clients and stakeholders, such as:

• The blade inspection will be performed with pictures instead of video, due to the better quality of images. This will allow us taking pictures with the turbine in operation, presenting a strong competitive advantage over the market. This greatly reduces the loss of production during the inspection.
• The cleaning blade: Needs to continue its development because in field tests conducted, it has identified the need for further research on the different cleaning substances use, and adjusting the pressure based on the specific type of dirt, wind turbine, wind speed, etc
We have also identified new needs in the market likely to be resolved with the designed platform:
• Inspection of blades by thermography.
• Inspection of welding seams using ultrasound.
• Inspection of surfaces by shearography laser.
• Ice cleaning.
• Night inspection.
• Removal of lichens and algae in the towers and blades.
Furthermore, it has acquired a deeper understanding of the techniques that are currently providing services of inspection and cleaning. Both in the studies commissioned, as in the meetings with park owners, it has been detected a potential service to the robotic platform with a huge potential market that it´s the removal of ice. Apparently one of the most common causes of turbines stops is the existence of ice, this causes huge production losses. This point will be studied more in depth during the Phase 2.
Therefore, the months of Phase 1 have notably endorsed the idea of business TSR, due to the different needs identified with potential customers, and thanks to his great interest in the project.
Thus, TSR has decided to continue with Phase 2 of SME Instrument, due to understanding that the market opportunity is really good.
To undertake with guarantees the second phase, TSR has conducted during phase 1 several important milestones, as the incorporation of the wind industry expert, Oscar Peciña, to TSR´s team, and include the head of administration and finance: Mar Clemente. It is also in force on the collaboration agreement with the Polytechnic University of Madrid to include students who are studying in the same, the prestigious Master in Robotics and Automation, which it has already led to TSR the incorporation of 5 fellows at the university. The move to the new facilities of the town of Rivas- Vaciamadrid (more spacious and better equipped), and an expansion of capital in the own company financing will serve to successfully undertake the second phase.
Last prototype