Leading Edge Restoration (LER) is a crucial process in addressing the growing challenge of damage to wind turbine blades, resulting in reduced power production and efficiency as wind turbines age. The damage, known as Leading Edge Erosion (LEE), occurs when turbine blades cut through the air and are exposed to collisions with fine particles such as dirt, dust, ice, snow, and rain.

The erosion of the outer layer on the blade surface occurs over time, gradually affecting aerodynamics and resulting in decreased power production. Factory aerodynamics are critical to maintaining optimal efficiency throughout the blade’s lifespan. During manufacturing, the blade is optimally designed to generate maximum power considering its length and size. When this aerodynamic surface erodes, both power output and efficiency decrease.

Many rotor blades still lack adequate protection despite the increasing understanding of the causes of damage.

Retrofitting older blades with Leading Edge Protection (LEP) can significantly extend their lifespan. However, it does not address the root cause of damage, and the unfortunate reality is that frequent repairs have historically been time-consuming and, therefore, costly.

Just as drones facilitate blade inspections, innovative technology is now advancing Leading Edge Restoration (LER).

The dominating technology on the market is Aerones’ robotic arm, equipped with various toolsets to perform the restoration process. This process not only restores the blade’s efficiency but also extends its lifespan, crucial for the sustainability and performance of the wind turbine.

The return on investment for an Aerones Leading Edge Restoration intervention is estimated to occur within 1-2 years, with an expected efficiency increase of approximately 3%.

Read more about LER here

#WindEnergy #RenewableEnergy #LeadingEdgeRestoration #Innovation