Blade Operations And Maintenance Forum

Forum Day One - Tuesday 1 November 2016

Registration And Refreshments 


Chair's Opening Remarks 

Scott Abramson, Director Of Operational Excellence, Duke Energy 



Time For A Reality Check: Why The Wind Industry Needs To Give Blades The Attention They Deserve

  • Impact of blade performance on AEP 
  • Costs of maintaining blades and reflection on OPEX
  • Challenges of accessing blades and fit for purpose solutions currently on the market 

  • Quick alternatives to compensate for delays from OEMs 

  • The commitment of OEMs: 
    • How do they plan to eliminate root cause problems?

    • Design: what do they have in mind for the future? 

    • Add-on solutions to extend the lifetime of the blades 

Scott Abramson, Director Of Operational Excellence, Duke Energy 



Creating The Link: A Case Study Comparing Ground Based And On Blade Inspections

  • The challenge of linking two distinct damage and repair classification systems
  • Introduction of the "confidence level" of defect identification 
  • How do we aggregate these data to reveal trends over time, along the blade span, across a wind farm, and across multiple sites?

Nigel Swytink-Binnema,   Research Analyst,  Technocentre éolien


Protecting Blades By Using Standardized Lightning Protection Systems

  • Why is lightning physics important for determining striking points?
  • What are the new developments in lightning protection?
  • Advantages of using premanufactured lightning protection solutions
  • Definition of lifetime on lightning protection systems
  • Updated IEC standards on lightning protection
  • Improving existing blade with new technology
Kim Bertelsen, CEO Founder And Owner, Global Lightning Protection Services A/S

Networking Break 


Blade Maintenance Powered By Innovation

  • Optimized conditions for epoxy repairs to wind turbine blades   - the benefits of creating a protected environment on blade access platforms   
  • Demonstrate how savings are possible through near real-time reporting of repair progress via GEV tablet mounted Intuitive Repair and Inspection System
  • Reducing inspection times by using a remote camera system
  • Ground Based Habitat - carrying out repairs in the field but in the comfort of a factory-like environment
  • The future of turbine blade maintenance - how to predict cash flow through monitored preventative maintenance 

Alastair Gadney, Managing Director, GEV Group


The Current And Future Potential Of Drones In Maximizing Data And Asset Management Practices

  • Where is FAA currently standing on the use of drones for inspections?
  • What is the ROI?
  • How can the software integrated in the drone help with inspection data processing and management?
  • Effectively using UAV inspections to track faults and damages in your fleet 
  • Integrating drone with ground based techniques for the perfect inspection mix
If you're interested in joining this session, please contact Raihan Chowdhury at or Heather Smith at  

Networking Lunch 



To What Extent Are Drones A Viable Commercial Solution To Inspect Blades?

The aim of these high frequency talks is to facilitate a discussion on how drones can contribute to blade inspection as well as how the former, when integrated with a data acquisition and categorization software, could truly have an impact on the way damages are being analyzed, monitored and managed today. 

Each delegate will be given the chance to express their thoughts, concerns, ideas and solutions anonymously and in written form (5 minutes) through an online platform called The moderator will then read out  the audience’s suggestions on how the industry can progress on these issues. The debate will then be opened up to the rest of the room, making this the perfect occasion to take a real step forward and overcome the barriers of using drones. 



Using  Data and Engineering Principals To Implement Effective Standardization Measures 

  • How to achieve blade's lifetime extension
  • Using manufacturing, environmental and operation data to determine failure modes
  • Modelling blade repairs allows engineering principals to be analyzed before implementation
  • Achieving repair standardization for common failures
Gary Kanaby, Commercial Manager, WindCom 


What Is The Best Approach To Categorizing, Standardizing And Prioritizing Damages? 

  • Why the approach “fit and forget” is no longer acceptable
  • Are the current categorization methods sufficient to meet the wind farm operator’s needs?
  • If each damage is different from another, how should wind farm operators carry out their O&M activities, and subsequently plan their actions? 
  • What are the pros and cons of creating a standardized industry method to categorize and prioritize damages?
  • What should you do with the pictures received? 

Participants include:

Carsten Hein Westergaard, Senior Advisor, Wind And Water Technologies, Sandia National Laboratories

Jeffrey Hammitt, Principal Technical Specialist, NextEra Energy 

Thomas Schmidt, Engineer Blade Service,  Nordex 


Networking Break And Afternoon Refreshments 


From Damage Categorization To Qualification And Optimization Of Repair Methods

  • Introduction to damage categorization from an OEM's perspective
  • Specification of assessment criteria and definition of constraints
  • Identification of potential demands for qualification and optimization of repair methods

Thomas Schmidt, Engineer Blade Service, Nordex 


Roundtable Discussions

Delegates will select one of the following peer-to-peer discussions from the strategic or technical streams listed below. You will move into small break-out groups where discussions will be off the record and led by an expert on the given topic. Delegates are encouraged to bring along their considered ideas and questions in order to facilitate a meaningful and in-depth discussion. 


1. Closed door operators’ roundtable: out of warranty transition and OEMs commitment

2. How do you achieve top-notch asset management and reliability?

Juan Bonilla, Director O&M Wind, ENEL 

3. Inspections: what would be your perfect O&M activity mix? 

Mathew Cicero, Operations Manager Twin Groves Wind Farm, EDPR


1. Quality assurance: Learning how to avoid those small errors by fine-tuning the process  

2. Blade optimization in harsh weather conditions 

Jay Steffensmeier, Regional Director, Suzlon 

3. Building a technical know-how to promptly and effectively deal with severe damages 


Roundtable Feedback

Delegates return to the main plenary room to hear the discussion leaders sharing the main outcomes of their discussions. 


Chair's Closing Remarks


Wind Down With Some Drinks 


Networking dinner