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Aerones receives funding for development of offshore wind technology

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Energy Global,


Aerones has secured a grant from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to fund €2.5 million in R&D to develop offshore capabilities of its established onshore wind turbine blade inspection, maintenance, and repair solution.

The grant will be used to adapt the already established onshore Aerones technology to be used in offshore applications. The innovative robotised access and maintenance system developed by Aerones is expected to result in reductions of crew transfer vessel fuel costs and emissions, reduce overall project execution times, and extend the service life of the turbine blades while supporting local coastal infrastructure.

The project will be implemented over three years in close co-operation with field trial partners including offshore wind industry leader GE Renewable Energy and consortium partners SIA Saunora (Latvia) and Tethys Energy Services (UK). The objective of the project is to develop a remotely operated maintenance system for offshore wind turbines. The development will require a significant amount of R&D to adapt Aerones technologies for the sea:

“Applying the existing Aerones technology offshore poses a set of unique environmental and operational challenges. Limited accessibility near the base of the turbine will require lightweight tubular steel platform design, sea service vessel operational limitations will have to be compensated for heave motion, and remote operation safety factors will all have to be addressed to name a few,”, said Vincent Schellings, General Manager, Offshore Wind Engineering GE Renewable Energy.

For onshore turbines, Aerones has already developed a computer controllable winch access system, robotic manipulation arms with various specific tools, and overall control and quality assurance video monitoring suite. Using the onshore solution, Aerones has already serviced over 200 turbines over the last three months alone. Aerones technology has been widely recognised and approved vendor status has been awarded to service GE, Vestas, Nordex and Siemens Gamesa wind turbines.

“At Aerones we believe that this opportunity will enable us to build on core strengths and expand the services to the offshore wind. With the aid of the funding, we will significantly increase the engineering team’s capacity and run several at-sea trials to bring the existing onshore solution to a viable commercialised offshore service,” stated Janis Putrams, Chief Executive Officer of Aerones.

Innovative business solutions in the maritime industry are believed to be the new sunrise sector. Building on innovations in wind turbine maintenance and inspection and adapting them to offshore applications supports local coastal infrastructure, creating jobs, and making offshore wind more affordable and sustainable. Aerones is at the forefront of this industry transformation through making a tangible contribution to how offshore wind turbines are being serviced.

Read the article online at: https://www.energyglobal.com/wind/19112020/aerones-receives-funding-for-development-of-offshore-wind-technology/

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