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Wind Turbine Shearography Robotic Inspection On-blade System (SheaRIOS)


SheaRIOS is a solution for the Wind Turbine Blade (WTB) inspection industry that enables easier, faster and more accurate inspection utilising robotics and shearography, a high-quality method that is applied outside of the laboratory for the first time. A deployment platform will ascend on the wind turbine tower and deploy a work climber on the base of the blade. The climber will move on the blade by means of air-suction and carry out inspection with a shearography kit on a cantilever. The deployment platform will also act as the power and data link.

Operational modelling is done by EDF, the end-user that drives this Innovation Action. Preliminary testing and validation of the market-readiness of the SheaRIOS robotic application will take place at their on-shore wind turbine facilities. Three competitive small and mid-scale technology companies from three European countries will contribute so Europe will (1) integrate more wind power, (2) reduce operational costs, (3) keep the technology lead, and (4) remain a major export. As per Wind Europe, these are the targets for enabling wind to become the backbone of our electricity generation system.

Based on our analysis, the non-destructive testing service provider would save 1,055€ per wind turbine inspection and payback of SheaRIOS investment will be achieved after 152 inspections, or the first 2 years. The wind farm operator will save more than 1 full day per wind turbine inspection, because of the reduced inspection time, which directly translates to less revenue lost due to idle wind turbines. Finally, the cumulative savings for a period of the first 5 years will translate to €92.74m assuming SheaRIOS will be successful in averting just 20% of the unforeseen WTB failures and contributing to increased health and safety for the rope access workers that are involved in hundreds of accidents each year.

[1] Wind Europe, “Making transition work”, September 2016

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Meccanismo di finanziamento

IA - Innovation action


Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 908 058,61
CB21 6AL Cambridge
Regno Unito

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East of England East Anglia Cambridgeshire CC
Tipo di attività
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Costo totale
€ 908 058,61

Partecipanti (10)