> Blades

Blade inspection, maintenance and repairs

Driving efficiency in the renewable wind energy industry

Working with leading manufacturers and wind farm owners, RTS provides a comprehensive range of support packages, including the management, inspection, testing and repair of wind turbine blades.

To ensure a wind turbine's blade performs at the optimum level for productivity, it is vital that regular blade inspections are carried out to identify any damage, potential performance issues and to detect early warning signs which could lead to future problems with the blade. At RTS we understand that repairs need to be carried out quickly and efficiently to keep the wind turbine fully functional and to minimise downtime.

Once any initial inspection has taken place, any identified defects will be classified within a comprehensive report, listed in order of severity and with the recommended repairs or action needed to rectify the situation.

RTS offer a range of blade inspection services and routine maintenance packages to maximise the performance of wind turbine blades, these include:

On-site wind turbine blade inspection

Using external & internal rope access and our Limpet mobile elevated work platform system, RTS engineers are able to inspect wind turbine blades on-site, quickly and safely. This allows for minimal disruption when identifying and diagnosing the cause to any problems affecting performance.

Off-site in-depth turbine inspection

If further analysis and more in-depth investigation is required, our technicians will dismantle the relevant blade and depending on the severity of the issue either repair on-site using our mobile workshop or transport the blades to our facility for repair off-site. When off-site repairs take place, we understand the need to conduct the work as quickly as possible in order that the repaired blade can be re-assembled onto the turbine to minimise downtime.

Non-destructuve testing (NDT)

NDT is completed as appropriate, to assess, investigate and diagnose issues which may occur that engineers cannot identify on-site. This may include techniques such as ultrasonic phased array, thermography to identify internal or severe problems affecting the blade's performance or finite element stress analysis and vibration analysis, to test the workings of gearboxes and bearings.

Minor blade repairs

In some instances, minor issues such as fixing cosmetic gel cracks on the wind turbine blade coating can be carried out on-site. Small alterations and repairs such as lamination are also easily completed on-site as all of our technician teams have access to a well stocked mobile workshop. These time and cost effective solutions for repairing minor blade problems ensures minimum downtime and maximises efficiency for wind turbine owners.

Major blade repairs

When carrying out on-site inspections, our engineers seek in the first instance to repair the blade whilst in-situ, using our mobile workshop in order to help minimise downtime. However, more major corrective procedures may require the blades to be removed. In this instance the technician will ensure the safe removal and transportation of the blade back to our purpose built workshop in Kettering, Northamptonshire. On arrival, further testing and investigative work will be conducted and repairs carried out accordingly. 

Balancing and weighing turbine blades

It is vital that wind turbine blades are correctly balanced and weighted to ensure efficient performance. A blade that has become ‘off-balanced’ can result in damage to other components including gearboxes and drive trains, which can result in costly repairs and replacement parts being required as well as lengthy periods of downtime.

Cleaning turbine blades

It is imperative that blades are cleaned regularly to maintain their purpose designed aerodynamic shape to maximise performance. RTS offers a range of routine cleaning and maintenance packages to ensure your blades are kept spinning effectively.

Warranty check-up

More often than not, blades are not inspected up close after their original commission. Performing a hands-on independent inspection of all rotor blades 3-9 months prior to warranty expiration is recommended to identify any potential problems. With blade repairs often costly to carry out, resulting in downtime of the wind turbine, it makes commercial sense if any potential blade issue which should be covered under warranty is identified in advance.

This cost-effective maintenance check prior to the warranty expiring has proved invaluable to many asset owners.

Annual blade check-up

Blades should be inspected on a regular basis ideally every two to three years and more frequently if performance or noise issues are prevailing. RTS can provide scheduled regular blade check ups to help keep your wind turbine performing to its maximum capacity.

Annual blade maintenance

There are many aspects of a wind turbine blade that can affect its performance and decrease potential lifespan. Erosion of the leading edge and deterioration of gel coats are examples of regular problems that will affect a blade from functioning effectively and efficiently. These issues can be addressed very simply and cost-effectively if spotted early enough, through ongoing routine maintenance.

RTS provides a blade maintenance package which combines an annual blade check designed to extend the life of the blades, reduce repair costs and ultimately increase efficiency and productivity.

If you are interested in regular blade maintenance or have an urgent blade problem, please contact our technicians on 0845 000 1020 or via email