The world’s first blade walk by a robot on an offshore wind turbine took place in UK in mid-October, when the six-legged inspect-and-repair robot BladeBUG repeatedly scaled blades at ORE Catapult’s 7MW Levenmouth Demonstration turbine off the coast of Fife.
ESVAGT, Siemens Gamesa and Ørsted are cooperating to create a drone-based solution for the delivery of spare parts and tools from vessel to offshore wind turbine. The project ‘Operative package deliveries by drones’ is sponsored by the European Regional Development Fund and runs until June 2020.
INESC TEC Insitute along with the energy company EDP, launched a project for the construction of the first real-time maritime robot testing center, used for offshore wind in Europe. Through this offshore project, development of monitoring and maintenance technologies for offshore infrastructures will get a boost.
The US Department of Energy Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) issued a 3.6 million grant to Principle Power and partners for the development, validation and operation of the world’s first digital twin software for floating offshore wind applications.
Google announced the biggest corporate purchase of renewable energy in history, made up of a 1,600-megawatt (MW) package of agreements and 18 new energy deals. These are all part of the company’s work to tackle climate change at a global scale.
Swiss UAV technology company Sulzer Schmid and artificial intelligence specialist NNAISENSE teamed up to develop an artificial intelligence engine to automatically detect rotor blade damages on wind turbine. The initial version will be able to flag all areas of concern on any given damaged blade.
Marine-i, the EU funded program set up to boost marine innovation in Cornwall, awarded Submarine Technology Ltd (STL), a specialist marine technology company, with a grant to proceed with the construction of a futuristic robotic arm. The arm is a ship-based multi-axis robotic arm for autonomous operations.
Newcastle College’s Energy Academy in Wallsend installed an Immersive Hybrid Reality offshore wind training facility. This is a virtual reality system to help train future engineers, as it replicates working conditions experienced by wind turbine engineers operating on offshore wind farms.
Wärtsilä developed the first targetless laser sensor for offshore wind farm applications, called ‘SceneScan Monopole’. The laser sensor aims to increase safety onboard service operation vessels. The system has undergone sea trials earlier in 2018, onboard the ‘Windea La Cour’, a purpose-built SOV.
A new industry project in UK is set to explore the technical, regulatory and societal issues of using autonomous surface vessels, integrated with existing manned shipping operations, to support offshore wind farm operations and maintenance, as well as to develop a timeline for the phased introduction of autonomous vessels.
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