Blades Europe - Agenda 2023

Our event promises an exceptional lineup of industry thought leaders and technical experts who share their insights and experiences. Attendees gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the wind power sector, as well as the tools and strategies needed to overcome them. Discover the latest breakthroughs in blade design, learn about emerging technologies, and explore the possibilities that lie ahead.

28 November 2023


Agenda day one

Registration and welcome networking

CASE STUDY: Thermography: subsurface inspections of wind turbine blades for better maintenance planning

With the increasing blade length within both onshore and offshore wind there is a growing need for improved automated inspection methods of wind turbine blades. The cost of blade repair is increasing and the repair window decreasing for offshore turbines. Equally the damage progression rate and severity of wear and tear seen on longer blades suggest that the blade OPEX budget will be increasing radically in the coming years.

The standard external drone inspections used today, give a limited and static view of the external damages of the blade. What is needed is an in-depth understanding on how damages are evolving within the blade, i.e. sub surface and internal.

Statkraft has done in-situ test of IR imaging, i.e. thermographic inspection on several of our wind sites. Following a three-pronged research strategy we have 1. Tested passive vs. active thermography 2. External, internal vs. thermal thermography 3. Internal inspection with crawler. In addition, we are invited to be partner in the EUDP funded AQUADA-GO project, which are developing an AI for thermographic inspections of wind turbine blades. We will present the above results for improving blade maintenance.



Data management, data analytics and artificial intelligence applications for wind turbine blades

AI exists as an umbrella term that is used to denote all computer programs that can think as humans do. This presentation will describe the taxonomy of AI and the information needed to apply different methodologies and will lay out the problems and limitations for its deployment.  We will discuss some of the major challenges and concerns regarding the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the wind industry.  Applications that use AI like wind forecasting, blade inspection, and maintenance planning will be discussed. Finally, we will discuss what the future of monitoring wind turbine blades may hold, the role of analytics to support decision making, and what is needed for AI to support maintenance planning.

Validated, operational and engineer-friendly digital twin technologies of rotor blades for predictive maintenance

Delegates will learn the latest Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) developed and demonstrated at DTU Wind for identifying, tracking, and evaluating blade damage in near real time. The blade damage is detected and identified with passive thermography automatically when the blade is in normal operation. Computer-version based techniques are used to map the physically detected blade damage onto the blade model for accurate simulation. A fracture-mechanics approach is embedded in a surrogate model to speed up the crack propagation prediction under cyclic loads. All KETs can work independently as well as in collaboration to achieve engineer-friendly Digital Twin of rotor blades for predictive maintenance. The delegates will also learn the demonstration of these KETs applied to the real world

Networking break sponsored by Clobotics

We'll be hosting our demo during the break - see what's in store



Innovation Spotlight

In just 1 hour you will hear from several leading innovators in the blade space to make sure you are up to date with the latest solutions and know what to look out for in the future. After several lightning-fast presentations you will get the chance to put your questions to the experts. 

Confirmed innovators:

LM Windpower
Onyx Insight

Networking lunch



PANEL: Building inspection strategies that inform proactive repairs and extend the life of the blade

Ensuring that you are on top of your turbine performance is key to intervening before a full-scale shut-down. What are the most innovative ways to do this? Delve into novel approaches to blade inspection, maintenance, and repair, including automation, drone-based inspections, and predictive maintenance algorithms.

Tackling offshore blade inspection challenges

  • Explore the complexities of using industrial-grade drones for offshore blade inspections
  • Delve into the transformative potential of conducting one-stop inspections led by off-the-shelf drones
  • Discover real-life case studies highlighting the effectiveness of NearthWIND Mobile

Networking break sponsored by Clobotics

We'll be hosting our demo during the break - see what's in store

CASE STUDY: Blade database and management application

The PGE Capital Group is Poland’s largest energy sector company. In PGE Energia Odnawialna we have 342 wind turbines operating. PGE is the owner, and the operator, and carries on the maintenance. As we started repairing blades with the dedicated in-house teams the need for a dedicated solution supporting the operations appeared. The solution was required to collect historical data about the damages, and the progress in repairs and to help the technicians report the progress in real time. 

 Together with PGE Systemy we agreed that the best application would be one that we would create together. The result of more than one year of cooperation has already been in use but is still growing, and the new functionalities will appear soon. This case study reveals the main features of the application and how its implementation has improved inspections and repairs in our fleet.

Crack growth risk: Using historical data and probability analysis to quantify the risk to asset health

In this presentation, Tomasz Sieradzan, Principal Blade Engineer at SkySpecs, discusses the use of probabilistic analysis to quantify crack forming and progression rates, and how these insights can be leveraged, so that owner operators can mitigate operational risk and optimise blade related maintenance activities.

Chair’s closing remarks and close of day one

Networking drinks reception sponsored by SkySpecs

Take some time at the end of day one to digest what you have heard and get to know your peers in an informal setting.

29 November 2023

Welcome networking


Advancing Offshore Wind O&M: AIRTuB-ROMI - the next phase for revolutionary blade monitoring and inspection

Advancing Offshore Wind O&M: AIRTuB-ROMI - the next phase for revolutionary blade monitoring and inspection

Following the successful completion of the initial phase of the AIRTuB roadmap, which culminated in December with a groundbreaking demonstration of the first prototype at the Dutch Royal Aerospace Center, a new chapter begins. On November 29th, 2023, we embark on the next exciting phase: AIRTuB-ROMI (which stands for Resident Offshore Monitoring and Inspection). This innovative project is set to develop and test advanced sensor-in-blade monitoring solutions, along with a resident drone and crawler inspection platform, complemented by digital twin technology, both onshore and offshore.



Icephobic coatings: changing the conversation from ice removal to ice mitigation

Icing events and their related auto shutdowns can be devastating to the power output and revenue of wind farms. Operators need to ensure that their turbines are reliable year-round, but how can this be accomplished short of costly ice removal methods? Enter icephobic coatings. Discover the benefits and hard data behind this innovative solution to the challenges winter poses to windfarms around the world.



Concepts of differential blade production for future manufacturing

Today’s challenges with even more growing blade sizes manifests in challenges of transportation. European blade production is decreasing more and more due to high energy and personnel costs. That means mostly production in non-European countries with lower OPEX but higher transport expenses.

The vision presented here shows the segmentation of the blade so that parts can be produced in far east while shipped in standard containers and assembly on the spot in Europe near there final destination.

This brings along new opportunities, but also new challenges in assembly and potential automatization, that will be addressed in this talk.

Networking break sponsored by Clobotics

We'll be hosting our demo during the break - see what's in store

Latest research at TU Delft

TU Delft works with the wind turbine industry in several faculties to advance blade technology. This includes areas such as: advanced manufacturing techniques to help automate production; the development of new materials which allow blades to be recycled; circular design of blades; design and testing of blade add-ons to reduce noise; and research into a variety of techniques to measure the structural integrity of blades to provide early warning of damage. Prof Watson will highlight some of these initiatives to give a flavour of the broad range of research at TU Delft to support industry in designing, manufacturing, maintaining, and recycling wind turbine blades.

Testing of 100m+ offshore blades: challenges and opportunities

  • Recent advancements in dual axis testing
  • Sequential testing – a new approach to test faster and more accurate

Innovative design and lifecycle assessment of wind turbine rotor blades using sustainable materials: A feasibility study

Through the SusWIND programme, the National Composites Centre aims to identify and promote solutions for wind energy decarbonisation. Developed in collaboration with the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, this work overviews SusWIND’s pipeline for wind blade design optimisation and lifecycle assessment. The impact of deploying alternative, more sustainable, materials on wind blade design and resulting carbon footprint will be presented to give recommendations for future wind blade development strategies.

Networking lunch sponsored by Clobotics

We'll be hosting our demo during the break - see what's in store



Roundtable discussions

Networking and content in one package! Take this opportunity to delve into the topics that most impact your day-to-day work and really get to grips with solutions to your challenges. Small group discussions with an expert facilitator; choose your topic and get talking!

Confirmed discussions: 

Standardization of inspection metadata and damage categorization 

Mert Tekeli, Wind Turbine Rotor Blade Expert, Eneco

End of use infrastructure investment, need for coordination?

Lorna Bennet, Project Engineer, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult



PANEL: What does circularity look like for blades?

With blades being the least green part of a wind turbine, how could circularity be achieved in the future? Are new materials the answer? If so, where are we with that research? Is recycling technology for waste management of traditional blades feasible? How would the LCoE be impacted by measures to make blades circular?