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Quality inspection: thermography in wind turbines

Prior to installation, the rotor blades of a wind turbine are accurately inspected for defects – with the help of a thermal imaging camera.

Rotor blades serve to convert the wind power into electrical power in a wind turbine. Since the components made of composites are exposed to enormous stress both during manufacturing and operation, they must be in an excellent condition in order to be stable. With the help of infrared thermography, manufacturers and operators of wind turbines can take a look onto and into the rotor blades to make sure that they work perfectly, even in the long run. The thermal imaging camera from Trotec provide detailed images making defects become clearly visible. Precise and non-destructive inspection thanks to Trotec!

Wind turbines are by far the most important form of wind power usage. Most wind turbines are fitted with three rotor blades to convert the wind power into electrical power. The rotor blades are probably the most essential part of a wind turbine because they draw the energy from the wind and feed it to the generator. They are up to one hundred metres long and made of composites to keep their weight as low as possible. But frequently, faults and smaller material defects occur during the production of rotor blades, which can have devastating consequences. If rotor blades are damaged or even break during operation, this represents a great danger for staff which may be present at the wind turbine and, of course, causes financial losses. Therefore it is indispensable to subject them to detailed quality checks.

Such checks are usually carried out using ultrasound or direct contact, and they are extremely time-consuming and complex. Moreover, visual inspections have a great disadvantage: the expert cannot look into the inside of the rotor blade, but he can only discover defects at the surface. Infrared technology, however, offers a comprehensive look onto and into a rotor blade.

Discovering defects in time

For these purposes, Trotec supplies a large selection of high-performance and precisely working thermal imaging cameras. In the detailed and razor-sharp thermal images, anomalies in the composites become visible thanks to the temperature differences that they exhibit. For quality checks, experts simply have to take one of the handy and powerful thermal imaging cameras from Trotec, and they are able to examine in what condition the rotor blade material is within a fairly short time. The thermal imaging cameras of the IC series are real talents in the non-destructive detection of defects. They impress with precise thermographic real-time measurements – while offering a particularly broad temperature measuring range. Thanks to various measuring and analysis functions, they yield reliable, quick and precise results and reveal even the tiniest defects.

Particularly powerful

The thermal imaging camera IC085LV promises best performance. It operates in a temperature measuring range from -20 to +600 degrees Celsius and is equipped with a large infrared sensor with more than 110,000 independent temperature measuring spots. With its real image camera, photo lamp and DuoVision function for real-time indication of superimposed infrared and real images integrated as standard, the IC085LV stands for extremely accurate measuring results. This way, experts are able to produce a detailed documentation of the rotor blades inspection. Moreover, an optional Bluetooth connection allows to record voice annotations, so that the examined spots and potential defects in the material can be described and recorded.

Advantages of the IC085LV

  • fully radiometric IR camera manufactured in the EU for highest demands
  • high-performance image sensor with 384 x 288 measuring spots
  • high thermal sensitivity of 0.05 degrees Celsius for detailed thermal images
  • Temperature measuring range from -20 to 600 degrees Celsius
  • very high geometric resolution of 1.1 mrad

Renting rather than buying

TKL – Trotec Rental Division

The TKL rental portal offers the thermal imaging cameras of the IC series at attractive prices. Experts have the choice and will find the suitable infrared camera for use in wind turbines.

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