FORCE Technology Wind Energy Inspection and Consultancy, Rotor Blade and Tower Testing
FORCE Technology provides international consultancy, inspection, and testing for rotor blade and towers for the wind energy industry.
For more than 30 years, FORCE Technology has been a technical leader in the wind industry sector, and has provided clients with cost-effective, tailored solutions to their onshore and offshore wind farm projects.
Automated ultrasonic blade inspection
FORCE Technology is one of the industry leaders in identifying turbine damage and faults. By using ultrasonic inspection, our highly skilled staff can identify critical faults to systems, such as delamination, lack of adhesive or bond, laminate thickness variations, and porosities in adhesives.
Scanners for the wind power industry
FORCE Technology provides automated ultrasound inspection systems to the wind power industry to document manufacture defects in wind turbine blades, and turbine towers. Using a wide array of scanner technologies, FORCE Technology can provide customized scanner solutions for any feature or model of turbine blades and towers.
The blade scanner program includes:
- MWS-6 manual scanner: a manually operated scanner used to inspect composite materials on structural flaws and fiber waviness (wrinkles), often occurring in reinforcement girders and spar caps.
- AMS-40 automated track scanner: An efficient precision scanner that is compact in size, allowing it to adapt to a wide range of testing requirements and ultrasound testing techniques. Often applied for QC on internal Spars.
- AMS-46 automated crawling scanner: Examines the integer fiber-reinforced composite structure on assembled blades and sub-components. Easy to apply to any horizontal rotor blade, with very few pre-installations.
- AMS-57/69 mobile automated blade track scanner: Inspects sections up to 4 – 5 meter, where the basic ultrasonic scanner equipment is handled and manipulated with a fork lift truck chassis along a pre-programmed scan path.
- AMS-60 mobile blade scanner: A self-propelled autonomous mobile scanner device, assembled on a fork lift truck chassis. May execute full and complete blade inspection even on the largest multi-MW wind turbine blades. May accommodate blades oriented vertically.
- AMS-71 mobile blade array scanner: An advanced revolutionary scanner concept, based on a multi-channel sensor array, covering the whole inspection area in one stroke. The array comprises 24-32 individual line scan channels, capturing the structural information simultaneously. The inspection speed is unbeaten high, often a requirement with contemporary multi-MW rotor blades. Accommodates for vertically oriented rotor blades.
Not only is FORCE Technology’s services confined to inspections, the company also provides third-party risk management advisory services to help clients assure the quality and delivery of all components of their turbines. This includes regular inspection visits to manufacturers’ premises, monitoring of turbine component transportation and installation, takeover of all inspections and surveys during the commissioning phase, and finally, full in-service support.
Inspection of fiber waviness in UD fiber reinforcement layers in composites
In composite unidirectional fiber layers, it is important to identify any signs of undulations and waviness in the primary load-bearing layers. Fiber waviness with wrinkles will induce fatal blade accidents caused by fatigue loading in time. Applying A-scan ultrasonic data, FORCE Technology can identify, monitor, size and review any waviness through proprietary B-scan presentations.
Fiber waviness in UD layers, above a blade design specific level, will induce a proportional reduction in service life-time. The residual blade life, until a fatal accident, may be estimated quite well. Records have shown, that even minor UD fiber disorientations of 4° angle, may introduce a knock-down factor of three. The normal 20 year life-span of a certain blade will come out as only seven years. And it is a predictable manufacturing defect, which may be monitored in advance.
Wind power NDT inspection services
FORCE Technology also specializes in non-destructive (NDT) inspection services on wind turbine blades. Using our P-scan technology, FORCE can provide high-resolution documentation of any signs of damage or defects on blades. Our services include periodic maintenance inspection and condition testing of installed blades to identify any minimal damage or defects, and enabling turbine managers to anticipate any further damage.
In addition, FORCE can also carry out warranty inspection and expiration documentation reports before a handover, accident analysis and evaluation of any damage caused by natural elements.
On-site blade testing
FORCE Technology understands that wind farm owners must receive the maximum operational performance from wind turbines with minimal downtime for repairs in order to see a return on investment. Our highly trained staff can provide several scanning solutions to ensure damaged or faulty blades are working again. Some of optional inspection systems are:
- AMS-64 fully integrated portable scanner solution: offers a comprehensive ultrasonic scanner solution which may be applied with various blade access technologies, e.g. platforms on mobile cranes, dedicated sky-lifts, and suspended platforms.
- ATS-1 portable ultrasonic track scanner: provides general purpose solutions for contract inspection, testing and documentation services, generally recommended for multipurpose scanning evaluations of blades
- MWS-6 ultrasonic manual scanner: a manually operated scanner that accommodates ultrasound techniques for multipurpose inspection work, recommended for random spot checks of rotor blades.
Tower testing in production
Manufacturers of traditional tubular steel towers must process the right steel materials and weld the tower segments with optimum conditions to ensure reliable tower structures. Licensed welding has to be verified by ultrasonic NDT inspection, according the current standards. FORCE Technology provides an array of scanning and consultancy solutions to help tower manufacturers choose the correct production capacity, speeds, dimensions and construction for their project.
FORCE Technology conducts automated testing of circumferential welds on towers using the AMS-41 and AMS-41 Light scanning systems, as well as the testing of all welds and door frames on a turbine system using the AGS-1 and AGS-2 systems.