HEMAV’s new technologies allow to bring wind turbine blade inspection into the office

Within the framework of Acciona’s open innovation programme, I’mnovation, HEMAV has developed a series of new technologies that will mark a turning point in the inspection of wind turbine blades.  This new innovation platform of the leading company in sustainable infrastructures and renewable energies aims to boost its technical capabilities and its R&D departments, thanks to the collaboration with technological startups, to better address the challenges posed in their business sectors: renewable energy, water and construction.

In this first edition, eight startups were selected from among more than one hundred candidates, HEMAV being the only company selected to carry out two projects in different business sectors – energy and construction. The companies selected receive funding and mentoring from Acciona through the consultancy firm Barrabés Next to develop their pilot projects within three months and validate them in a real environment, applying them to one of the company’s ongoing projects.

HEMAV’s proposal for the renewable energy sector

HEMAV’s proposal for the wind power sector includes the use of drones and the development of new technologies to modernize each of the phases of the wind turbine blade inspection process, achieving a higher level of reliability than ever before.

In the first phase, drone inspection allows data capture not only through visual inspection, but also through passive thermography and robotic internal inspection techniques. Among the advantages of using drones in this activity we can highlight the increase in productivity and its low cost.

For the processing of the data acquired through the drone, a series of programs have been developed that allow the generation and management of digital models of the blades to identify and categorize possible defects with an unparalleled precision to date. This digitalization allows to virtually move blade inspection to the office. Thanks to this evolution of all phases of the current work chain, advanced asset management is achieved.

Acciona has strongly opted for HEMAV and in parallel to this project two concept tests are being developed. The first of these, passive thermography, aims to significantly reduce NDT costs and asset downtime. With the second proof of concept, HEMAV proposes to introduce a new internal blade inspection technique, using drone systems, thus avoiding human presence in such high-risk environments.

HEMAV’s proposal for the construction sector

The other proposal selected to participate in Acciona’s I’mnovation platform is an innovation project focused on the inspection of concessions using UAV technology. This pilot project, through its different phases, aims to carry out a digital transformation of the work models that are currently being implemented, with which it will be possible to reduce inspection execution times, to obtain efficient and highly precise processes and solutions that will facilitate decision making in relation to possible corrective actions. At the same time, maintenance costs of concessions will be reduced.

The project focuses its actions on three specific areas of action for which Acciona needed to obtain tangible improvements: road surveillance, pavement condition monitoring and pruning inspection. The use of drone technology in these fields translates on the one hand into capturing the entire infrastructure in images of maximum resolution and positioning in absolute coordinates and, on the other hand, into a significant reduction in the risks of field personnel.

More information on this proposal is available at: https://hemav.com/en/innovation-project-uav-based-inspection-works-road-concessions/

With these two projects, which will continue to be developed and improved in future phases, HEMAV aids in making the vision of Acciona I’mnovation a reality: to carry out new projects that contribute to the progress of society and respect for the environment in a sustainable, innovative and efficient manner.

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