March 7, 2022

Risk – Inevitable or Avoidable

Both as inventors focusing on industry and as service providers, we feel committed to stopping wind turbine failure rates from rising. Recent data from our own inspections show that more than 25% of wind turbine blades have been moderately, and in some cases — severely impacted by lightning strikes. Aerones has gained a  better understanding of how our clients are likely to be affected by natural disasters and how timely countermeasures — inspections can put a matter of potential risk into a safe level of avoidable incident. Our data comes from Aerones gained experience and conducted projects in various continents and different weather conditions, on various types of turbines from more than 1,100 inspected blades. 

Severe damage on wind turbine blade where a lightning strike resulted in erosion

Repair costs are painful for the industry – if a lightning strike damage is causing a wind turbine to halt operations then the turbine owner loses money. If we assume that a single typical 2.4 MW wind turbine earns around 1,000 USD per day of operation, the equation is easy.

In reality, a single accident almost never means the halt of just one single turbine. One of the larger incidents last year led a wind park of 40+ turbines to be halted. In each case, weather data has shown lightning strikes that occurred close to the turbines.

Recent data has shown the rise of wind turbine yearly insurance fees – and it is expected to continue the same pattern and take an even bigger share on the balance sheet for the wind turbine owners. In some countries, insurers started to limit the scope of insurance coverage, because of additional challenges and the fact that one sole loss could wipe out an insurer’s entire premium pool for a single project.

Investment in the maintenance of turbines makes “unavoidable” risk manageable – we are convinced that we can help to avoid costly damages by choosing planned inspections. It is much cheaper to identify and fix small damage on a lightning protection system than allocate resources after serious damages.

Clearly visible start of delamination on wind turbine blade as a result of lightning strike

At Aerones we encourage you to rely on preventive countermeasures to nature’s anger and timely inspection is one of them. Our robotic solution allows lightning protection inspections to be an efficient procedure and at the end – final review gives a full oversight on the current state of the single blade and the whole turbine.

Contact our sales specialists to plan lightning inspection on Your location.

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sources:
– https://eu.desmoinesregister.com/story/money/business/2020/10/20/berkshire-hathaway-midamerican-energy-windmill-blades-break-iowa-farms/5991387002/ 
–  https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/nz/news/breaking-news/is-the-insurance-market-hardening-for-the-renewables-sector-245343.aspx
– https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=0c1f105d-b3be-420b-967f-c18f734d0aa9.

Aerones
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