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Speaking the same language – blade damage standardisation

by RES | Mar 08, 2021 | Reading time: 2 min

Blades Global 2021 takes place virtually this year on the 10th and 11th of March. Each year the event brings together owner-operators, developers and blade experts to meet, exchange ideas and improve blade operations and strategy.

As operations managers for multiple onshore and offshore wind farms globally, we’re focused on implementing the most efficient maintenance strategies on our clients’ blades. A lack of standardised thinking in the industry currently means that it isn’t using the same language, and that’s creating issues.

Diego Kieffer, one of our Turbine Maintenance Managers in the UK and Ireland will speak on a panel tomorrow. He’ll be speaking about how the industry can align to standardise blade category damage. Ahead of the event we spoke to Diego about what the industry is doing to speed up standardisation.

What threats does a lack of standardisation pose to owner operators?

Standardisation allows owner/operators to understand the damage and wear and tear trends on each wind farm and better plan blade maintenance accordingly.  Without standardisation owners/operators are having to review inspections and blade reports and relate them to our own damage classifications, this process is a resource intensive procedure and creates duplication of work. If owners could rely on the information being provided form the solutions providers we can dedicate more time into analysing the data to optimise our maintenance strategy. 

Whose interest is it to have a more standardised approach?

Ultimately the owners/operators, but it also makes life easier for all other parties in the supply chain. The lack of standardisation creates grey areas on maintenance contracts, the owner and the O&M contractor will have different interpretation on what damages are covered under the maintenance contract leading to extended conversations on responsibilities before any works can be done. This can delay the repair of blades past the blade season (Spring/Summer) which then results a costlier repair.

What’s happening to improve standardisation?

To mitigate for the lack of standardisation there has been industry collaboration to address this. Events such as conferences and networking groups are promoting a more collaborative approach with the O&M contractors. There are still variations on how OEMs/ISP/Operators are classifying the damage but from our point of view the situation has improved over the last few years.


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