Wind blade inspection systems without interrupting power production


Wind blade inspection systems without interrupting power production

January 22


I’MNOVATION 2024 is here! Check out the open challenges and sign up.

February 25


Haven’t applied yet, run! The deadline for applications is February 25th.

April 18


The finalist startups will pitch to a committee that will decide the winner. This startup will develop a pilot in a real environment for 6 months with us.

November 21


Each team will present the results obtained to the decision committee that will evaluate the continuity and scaling of the program.

50 000 €

The global wind energy market has almost quadrupled in size in the last decade and has established itself as one of the most cost-competitive energy sources worldwide, reaching 743 GW of installed capacity.

ACCIONA Energía builds, operates and maintains wind farms in 25 countries around the world. With an installed capacity of 8 759 MW (2021) and 230 plants in operation, wind power generation accounts for 80% of the electricity generation produced by the company annually.

The operation and maintenance of wind turbines remains a significant cost factor (up to 20% of the total energy cost), affecting the price of energy and the competitiveness of renewable energy. Wind turbine blades are exposed to complex environmental and mechanical stresses during their lifetime, including cyclic deformation, rain, sand and contaminants causing erosion, icing, high humidity and temperature fluctuations, but also exceptional events such as transport damage, lightning strikes and bird strikes.
Damage to wind turbine blades can be classified as surface damage (microcracks on the surface and coatings), resin and/or interface damage (delamination, resin defects) and structural element damage (with broken or kinked fibres). Surface damage can be caused by erosion (rain, sand, hail) or impact from small objects. The damaged surface can reduce the aerodynamic performance of the blades and energy generation. It does not prevent the wind turbine from functioning, but the surface defects grow and develop and can lead to structural damage of the blade.

Wind blade inspection is a critical process to ensure the safety and performance of wind turbines. This process is important for reliable prediction of failure events, planning of maintenance activities and mitigation of degradation processes. It typically involves visual, tactile and sometimes automated methods to detect defects such as cracks, erosion and delamination in the blades. Regular inspections help to identify problems early and prevent costly damage or downtime.

Today, ACCIONA Energía works with cutting-edge technologies related to O&M, and we are committed to operational excellence and reducing the costs of our operations. Wind blade inspection plays a key role in ensuring the reliability, efficiency and sustainability of wind energy production.

ACCIONA Energía is looking for new technologies or solutions that have been developed for wind turbine blade inspection, which includes data collection and processing of information to evaluate the wind turbine. We are interested in technologies that explore the development of this blade inspection without stopping power production, i.e. without stopping the wind turbine. The solutions could be ground based or drone based. These will help us to make inspections safer, more flexible and faster.

Preguntas frecuentes

Yes. This Open Innovation Program is designed for the co-creation and co-development with startups, spinoffs and scaleups. Although we wouldn’t expect to work with mature companies, ACCIONA understands that developing a new product is hard and pivoting to find the Market-Fit needs from time and work, so we will analyse case by case.

Yes. As companies grow, they develop commercial agreements. Corporate open innovation programs are one of them, although ACCIONA wouldn’t accept to develop a project if the startup is working on a project with the same scope with a competitor.

At the beginning of the project, the ownership of the IP is from each part. Only after the ending of the project, ACCIONA and your company would negotiate over the results of the product or service developed if ACCIONA has had a relevant participation.

Usually, ACCIONA will publish that a pilot has been developed with your company at the end of the project. If you need to share some kind of information of the project, privately or publicly, please contact us.

No. Open Innovation program doesn’t take any equity. Only at the end of the project, ACCIONA would analyse if an investment has a fit in the company strategy and if the startup has an investment round open.

No. Sometimes startups captable is complex. We would accept that one of the founders signs if he/she has power of attorney.