Tapping into to wind energy as a clean source of power is an option that is quickly growing popularity thanks to inventive designers who are creating new and more acceptable designs for wind turbines.
This has seen a sudden and healthy growth in the number of wind turbines used across the globe, but what about maintaining them and checking for defects from time to time? That is a task far more difficult considering that not many would be willing to throw themselves at the opportunity of climbing up these sharp blades. But, developers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation are creating a volunteer who will gladly do it for you.
RIWEA is an automated rope climbing robot that will merrily crawl up both on shore and off shore wind turbines to check for any defects. The inspection system has an onboard infra-red radiator that emits waves and a high resolution thermal camera that will capture the images and check for defects. A similar ultra sound emitter and detector are also integrated as an additional system for finding flaws in metals with greater accuracy.
Considering that 60% of all wind turbines in US today need overhauling and the fact that none of us are willing to climb any steep rods, RIWEA is a convenience that we could urgently use! [via The BioEnergy Site]