Energy & Environmental Technology

SMART-WindEnergy - Self-climbing SMART platform for maintenance of wind turbines

Ref.-No. 3162

Our society’s increasing energy demand requires a high degree of uninterrupted utilization of power generation plants. If a rotor blade is damaged, the utilization of the system is considerably reduced. Due to the height of the turbines, the rotor blades of wind turbines can currently only be serviced with special mobile working platforms and lifting platforms. Simple maintenance inspections are carried out by experts who abseil down the blade.

Complex repairs and diagnoses can often not be carried out and require cost-intensive disassembly of the blades. The periodically required inspection of rotor blades or wind power towers according to DIN EN 61400-23 (VDE 0127-23), however, requires a complete on-site inspection of the rotor for further damage which may occur due to production or dynamic loading and frequently due to transport and operating vibration. The self-climbing SMART platform for the maintenance of wind turbines, with its multifunctional climbing robot and weatherproof working platform capsule, offers a wide range of applications for the maintenance, servicing and repair of rotor blades on wind turbines. 

Commercial Opportunities

More than 22,300 wind turbines with an installed capacity of around 27.9 gigawatts are currently installed in Germany. The number of turbines already installed will continue to rise in the future.

The self-climbing SMART platform enables extensive maintenance and repair of wind turbines. The weather-protected working cabin makes it possible to carry out repair work on the rotor blade and enables the use of non-destructive testing methods for diagnostics on the rotor blades. The SMART platform allows the operating times of wind turbines to be be extended from the current maximum of 7 months to up to 12 months per year by shortening repair times. All the necessary tools and manpower can be deployed in the cabin of the SMART platform with maximum efficiency. Furthermore, the climbing robot can be used for cost-optimized disassembly and assembly of rotor blades.

Competitive Advantages

  • Safe maintenance of wind turbines without lifting platforms
  • Disassembly and assembly of rotor blades
  • Weather-protected working platform
  • Maintenance work according to DIN EN 61400-23

Current Status

The patent for the invention is pending at the German Patent and Trade Mark Office. PROvendis offers interested companies the opportunity to cooperate with the team of inventors on behalf of FH Aachen - University of Applied Sciences. 

An invention of FH Aachen.

Dr. Andreas Voigt
+49 208 9410540