2022 event schedule

Our agenda is packed with panel discussions, breakout sessions, keynote presentations & case study sessions all tailored to allow owner-operators & the entire blades supply chain to discuss their experiences with blade operations and maintenance in the context of new technologies and growing external market pressures.

What topics will be covered?

CONTENT HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE:

Energy as a weapon

How it energy being used as a tool of states in an attempt to force beneficial outcomes?

Market transition from hydrocarbon to renewable energy

How do we move away from from the reliance on hydrocarbon energy sources?

Catalysing innovation across the industry

What technical innovations and strategic developments are leading the way?

Blade damage and maintenance tracking

What advances have been made in blade monitoring, preventive maintenance or urgent repair?

Lifecycle management and repurposing blades

How can we benchmark against best practice for lifetime extension?

Day 1 – Tuesday 25th October

PLENARY

09:00am – 09:10am

OPENING REMARKS: Chairperson’s opening comments

A welcoming introduction from the conference chairperson, providing a thematic overview of the day, as well as additional details for all attendees

09:10am – 09:30am

KEYNOTE: Energising innovation – transitioning to renewable energy reliance

This talk will focus on the expansion of renewable energies – both the necessity and possibility of adoption – in the light of climate protection and the replacement of energies from Russia.

Topics include:

  • The German transition to renewable energy
  • Moving to energy self-sufficiency
  • Ambitions for COP27

Hans-Josef Fell, President, Energy Watch Group

09:30am – 10:00am

PRESENTATION: How can innovation in blade design resolve the issue of declining wind turbine productivity?

This session will address how innovation in how blades are designed and their scale can help resolve the issues around wind turbine productivity due to a decline in wind speed in certain regions.

Topics include:

  • How can blade design stay ahead of the curve?
  • What innovations are in place to deal with the problem?
  • Will technological developments in blade and wind turbine design mean

10:00am – 10:30am

Sponsor: Nearthlab

PRESENTATION: The value of autonomous inspections

  • How will automation decrease cost and increase efficiency?
  • Benefits of internal vs external inspections, when should they be used?
  • What needs to happen to take drone inspections to the next level?
  • How efficient are drone inspections for maintenance against the traditional human methods?

Senior Representative, Nearthlab

10:30am – 11:00am

BREAK

INNOVATORS & INSIGHTS

11:00am – 12:00pm

SPOTLIGHT: 6 Minutes, 6 Slides, 6 Innovations

6 slides. 6 minutes. 6 innovations to showcase the innovative solutions leading the market from our industry trailblazers. Each presenter will only have 6 minutes and 6 slides to demonstrate their innovation.

Once all have presented, the conference chair will lead a moderated live Q&A to give delegates the chance to ask our speakers any and all questions they may have.

12:00pm – 12:30pm

CASE STUDY – Baltic Sea: New ventures – how the blade industry can cater to growing demand for wind energy across Europe

Through the lens of planned wind power expansion in the Baltic Sea, this session will discuss how blade design, production and implementation can be improved to cater for new demands on the industry, and how this can make the share of regions have on the wind power industry fairer, contributing to a better climate for all of Europe for the future.

Key discussion points: 

  • How can blade design resolve this issue? 
  • Will blades of the future be able to achieve a greater level of productivity? 
  • What developments are currently taking place in the Baltic Sea region? How can the Blades Industry assist this planned expansion into wind power? 
  • Why is this assistance the key to ensuring Europe achieves its renewable energy plans and goals?

12:30pm – 01:00pm

PRESENTATION: Powering sustainability – how blades can do even more for the environment

With greener energy at the very heart of wind power’s purpose, it already does much for the environment, however, the industry is now looking for even more ways it can have a positive impact on the environment through its design and manufacture of blades. This session will highlight some of these developments through the lens of a case study, with a special look at how these innovations in blade design also have a positive impact on productivity and performance overall.

  • What can the industry do to have an ever more positive impact on the environment? Why is the circular economy so important here?
  • What is the industry doing to make their blades more environmentally friendly?
  • What role do blade design and material have in this?
  • What can these innovations also do for the overall productivity and performance of the blades?

01:00pm – 02:00pm

NETWORKING LUNCH

FUTURE OF BLADES

02:00pm – 02:45pm

PANEL: Driving Industry Innovations – Solutions of the future

As the industry continues to move and adapt against the growing demand for renewable energy solutions, the need for more efficient development within blades continues:

  • How can sectional/modular design revamp the sustainability of the blades lifecycle?
  • Where can data streams from blades and farms be streamlined to enable more efficient readouts?
  • How can predictability improvements during the design phase improve the performance of the blade entire?

REPOWERING PROCESS

02:45pm – 03:15pm

PRESENTATION: Tackling timelines – how the repowering process can be sped up

It has been proven through a number of recent European repowering projects that repowering is the answer to the growing demand on wind energy capacity across Europe, with new turbines demonstrating an electricity output far greater than the first generation turbines, with far fewer machines. As it stands, fewer than 10% of wind turbines reaching their end of life are being repowered.

This session will look at why this is the case, what the benefits of repowering are and discuss how the blade industry can work together to speed up the process and resolve some of the issues preventing these projects from taking place.

Key topics of discussion:

  • Why are there not more repowering projects taking place across Europe, despite research proving how necessary they are?
  • What are the inhibitors to repowering projects? How can the industry and government work together to resolve them?
  • What are the benefits of repowering? How can the process be streamlined?
  • How can repowering address the issues the industry faces when it comes to wind power productivity and efficiency?

03:15pm – 03:45pm

PRESENTATION: Stakeholder engagement – why the blades need to work closer with its wind farm communities

Despite calls and plans for repowering development and the expansion of offshore and onshore wind projects in Europe, there are some wind farm communities in which feeling toward wind power has become controversial, bringing new projects to a halt. Many communities feel they do not get given enough back from the industry and government for something which has local disadvantages and national advantages.

Considering this, this session will discuss how the industry can get its community engagement right and why this is so integral if the industry wants to achieve its expansion of wind farms and repowering project goals in Europe.

Key discussion points:

  • Why is there growing opposition to onshore wind farms in Europe?
  • Why is this community engagement going wrong? Why is community engagement so important for repowering projects?
  • How can the industry get their community engagement right in these areas where uncertainty remains?
  • How can they communicate the benefits of these projects to the wider community and how will this help the industry achieve its expansion and repowering goals?

03:45pm – 04:15pm

LUNCH

04:15pm – 04:45pm

PRESENTATION: Technical skills shortage – how can the blade industry inspire the next generation ?

As the interest in and demand for wind energy grows so does the necessity for skilled workers in the industry to meet the demand. As it stands, there is currently a shortage in technically skilled workers. This session will discuss how the blade industry can address this shortage through better education and training, including how they can build awareness amongst young people around the opportunities in the industry.

Key topics for discussion: 

  • How can the industry be more involved in educating young people and getting them interested in a career in wind energy? 
  • What programmes are already in place which have been a success? 
  • How can automation within the industry also open it  to a greater pool of workers?
  • Reskilling – why the reskilling of fossil fuel industry workers will also address the shortage

04:45pm – 05:15pm

PRESENTATION: How to cut the red tape around wind power expansion in Europe

The demand for wind power in Europe continues to grow – more countries are looking to introduce and expand their usage of renewable energy solutions, with the EU setting greener energy goals for the future. Yet, there still remains a problem around the timelines for these projects, many wind farms take years to be agreed and permitted before they can be manufactured and built. If the EU and the industry are to meet their goals, both need to work together to speed up these timelines and remove the red tape around these wind farms being put in place. 

Key discussion points:

  • How can the governments and the industry work together to remove the red tape around the blade manufacture and implementation? 
  • What are the legislative inhibitors to wind farm expansion? 
  • How will this help Europe achieve its greener energy goals for the future?

05:15pm – 05:30pm

CLOSING REMARKS: Chairperson’s closing comments

A closing note from the conference chairperson, providing a thematic overview of the day, as well as additional details for all attendees for day two.

05:30pm

Close of day one, and networking drinks reception

Day 2 – Wednesday 26th October

PLENARY

09:00am – 09:10am

OPENING REMARKS: Chairperson’s opening comments

A welcoming introduction from the conference chairperson, providing a thematic overview of the day, as well as additional details for all attendees

FUTURE OF BLADES

09:10am – 09:30am

KEYNOTE: The Future of Blade Design: Sustainability, Access and Longevity

With increasingly bigger and more complex blades being designed, how difficult are these new composites to maintain?

09:30am – 10:00am

PRESENTATION: Automated processes – how automation of the future will ensure optimum quality, production and productivity of blades

Through the lens of a case study, this session will discuss how automation of processes within blade manufacture will lead to fewer mistakes, a shorter time to market and a higher quality blade overall. With a look at how automation can help address the growing urgency around the production timelines of wind turbines and their components.

  • An exploration of an automation case study
  • How will automation help the blade industry meet the growing demands and need for wind turbines across Europe? 
  • How will this create more job opportunities for the industry?

10:00am – 10:30am

PRESENTATION: Setting a new standard – why an aerodynamic industry standard is so necessary for blades damage inspection

This session will highlight the latest research carried out by Christian Bak and his team around the need for an aerodynamic standard to be set for blades, currently one does not exist. Discussing the need for this standard, and why it is so important for the maintenance and damage inspection processes for the blades. 

Key topics for discussion:

  • Why is this standard necessary? 
  • What has research shown us so far? 
  • What will the introduction of this standard do for the industry? 
  • Why is it important?

10:30am – 11:00am

BREAK

DAMAGE CLASSIFICATION

11:00am – 11:30am

PRESENTATION: What can reducing time to market with blade testing do for the industry?

This presentation session will look at how a more cohesive testing regime for blades can help reduce the time to market for wind turbines and overall address the growing global demand. 

Key discussion points:

  • What systems are in place currently, and how can they be improved upon? 
  • How can a more cohesive testing lead to fewer mistakes and faults in the performance of the blades?

11:30am – 12:00pm

PRESENTATION: Success Through Failure – Analysing Data To Optimise Inspection Timings and Repair Decisions

What can the largest datasets tell us about how to optimise inspections?

  • Using blade damage data to make inferred theories about erosion costs in the future
  • Building a neural network based on turbine type and blade size for forecasting future damages
  • Using AI to make smart inferences about potential future damages and pinpointing optimal repair schedules

12:00pm – 01:00pm

ROUNDTABLES: Interactive Roundtable Discussions

In this session, delegates have the opportunity to engage in intimate discussion groups, hosted by a moderator, providing the opportunity to reflect, share and delve into the discussions throughout the day. 

Tables include:

  • Damage Classification
  • Extending Lifecycles
  • Future of Blades
  • Data & Predictive Maintenance

01:00pm – 02:00pm

LUNCH

EXTENDING LIFECYCLES

02:00pm – 02:45pm

PANEL: Beyond Turbines – Blade Recycling & Circularity Strategies

Lifecycle management has quickly become one of the key considerations for blade development.

Considering this, this session will discuss the following: 

  • What alternatives do old blades have to ending up in landfills? 
  • Who should take responsibility for recycling blades at the end of life? 
  • What processes and standards need to change to tackle the problem? 
  • What are the costs associated with recycling, and is the process sustainable for entire wind farms?

02:45pm – 03:15pm

Faster and more reliable blade repair through temperature history based cure monitoring

This session will discuss how blade repair can be made both faster and more reliable through the lens of a case study – temperature history based cure monitoring.

Key topics of discussion:

  • Curing kinetics as a basis to predict curing behaviour
  • A semi-empirical model to predict degree of cure as a function of temperature history
  • Experimental validation for different materials
  • Practical application: a low cost sensor improve quality of blade repairs

 

Steffen Czichon, Head of Department – Rotor Blades, Fraunhofer IWES

03:15pm – 03:45pm

PRESENTATION: Sustainability Through Design – Moving to a zero waste model

Incorporating a sustainability driven design model when it comes to blades may be poised to deliver substantial dividends. With that, how can a collaborationist model across your value chain help reduce waste and emissions?

Key discussion points:

  • What emerging and advanced manufacturing capabilities are available that can assist with the construction of these blades?
  • Where can changes be made within existing models to bring them in line with this standard?

03:45pm – 04:15pm

LUNCH

DATA & PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE

04:15pm – 04:45pm

PRESENTATION: Deploying Data for Blade Condition Monitoring

Real time data streams are invaluable tools to monitor blade condition.

Key discussion points:

  • What are the possibilities of real time data, load sensor data and digital twins?
  • Will sensor technology and its use develop with larger blades?
  • When using multiple sensors, can this help provide a fuller indication as to the health of your blades? What can be done to drive down the cost of sensor technology so it can be applied across a wind farm?

04:45pm – 05:15pm

PRESENTATION: Staying Ahead – Predictive Analytics in Blade Maintenance

Predictive analysis through historical data and AI is becoming more and more necessary in the wind power industry, as we go through a cost of living crisis, the industry is looking for more ways to be cost-effective. Considering this, this session will discuss why predictive analysis in blade maintenance is so important, and how it can help the industry stay ahead of the curve when it comes to operational issues, with a look at how this analysis can keep blades performing at their optimum for even longer.

Key discussion points: 

  • Do current turbines have enough data models which allow for this level of predictive analysis? 
  • Is it possible to run risk profiling on  a certain type of blade or turbine? 
  • Why are smart repair cycles so necessary?
  • How is this more cost-effective for the industry?

PLENARY

05:15pm – 05:30pm

CLOSING REMARKS: Chairperson’s closing comments

A welcoming introduction from the conference chairperson, providing a thematic overview of the day, as well as additional details for all attendees

Interested in speaking?

If you would like to take part in the conference as a speaker please contact Ahmed at [email protected]