GEV Wind Power, a division of the GEV Group, is launching its pioneering turbine maintenance structure at this year’s RenewableUK show in Stand No. 210.
Visitors to the show will be the first to experience the structure in action through GEV’s virtual reality simulation, letting attendees access the platform, be cocooned in the transparent habitat and undertake their own blade repair.
GEV’s innovative habitat structure will significantly reduce the number of cancelled ‘down’ days which currently blight the industry, over 50% of which result from adverse weather conditions.
“Habitat structures have worked well in the oil and gas sector for many years and we decided to migrate the idea across to offshore wind,” says David Fletcher, managing director of the GEV Group. “Wind speeds, rain, temperature and humidity all significantly impact on an engineer’s ability to complete scheduled maintenance. However, when you also factor in the length of time it takes to physically get an engineer out to a wind farm, which is often a round trip of several hours, the window of opportunity available to undertake any maintenance is very narrow indeed. Our new offshore habitat structure will mitigate the weather risk and enable engineers, once on-site, to work unhindered in a controlled environment.”
GEV Wind Power plans to undertake field trials in Q1 2015, and is then looking to partner with turbine manufacturers with a view to including the habitat structure as an integral element of next generation turbines.
“Our habitat structure has the potential to transform offshore wind maintenance operations. It will provide a massive step forward in meeting the needs of both field owners who want to maximize power generation during perceived bad periods of weather, usually October through to April, and stakeholders, who want to reduce non-productive costs from lost days due to weather stand down,” adds Fletcher.
GEV Wind Power has partnered with VisiDeck, a provider of virtual reality and visualization equipment to produce its demonstration, which will be debuted at RenewableUK.
“Virtual reality will officially be released to consumers next year, and will revolutionise many industries,” says VisiDeck’s Andy Yelland. “For GEV Wind Power it is obviously impractical to ship a turbine to the show. With our pre-release VR headsets, we can let visitors experience first-hand riding to the top of a wind turbine and see the habitat structure in action, all from the comfort of the exhibition.”
Fletcher concludes: “We hope our virtual reality simulation will give visitors to RenewableUK a real insight into our habitat’s potential, and we’re very much looking forward to field trials and bringing this much needed product to market.”
November 11 to 13, 2014, Manchester