FLIR Systems has detailed how the Korea Institute of Standards & Science (KRISS) is helping lead international effort, using FLIR thermal imaging cameras, to develop standards for non-destructive testing of metallic and composite materials used in wind power generators.
Typically manufactured from advanced composite materials, wind power generation blades range in length from tens to hundreds of meters and reach weights of many tonnes.
In operation the blades are subject to significant amounts of stress that may result in cracks which potentially could result in catastrophic failure. To date test methods for detecting cracks in wind turbine blades have been based on direct contact (requiring generator shutdown) or ultrasonic technology that offers reasonable results but is limited by the considerable time and effort to detect cracks in local areas.
The thermal imaging test procedure, using FLIR SC-5000 Series thermal imaging cameras, developed by KRISS offers the advantages of almost instantaneous results over the whole blade and non-contact inspection enabling the test to be undertaken without having to dissemble the blade from the wind power generator. Having demonstrated the utility and benefits of the thermal imaging method – KRISS is now quantifying the test results and undertaking research to develop a standardized defect test system and method.
To download a copy of the application report visit: http://www.flir.com/cs/emea/en/view/?id=60845.