Talking wind blades with Guillermo Lozano

One month ahead of this year's Blade O&M Forum, Windpower Monthly Events spoke to E.On's Blade Engineer Guillermo Lozano to hear his thoughts on the current challenges and strategies for wind blades.

Guillermo Lozano, Blade Engineer, E.On
Guillermo Lozano, Blade Engineer, E.On

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Guilermo will be chairing the Blade O&M Forum in Dallas, TX, in Septmber 2017.

Q. What are the top three challenges for the inspection, repair and maintenance of blades right now?

GL: First of all, industry alignment. There are still areas where all the stakeholders need to work together to develop common standards, for example damage categorization, repair, maintenance, etc. This is the quickest way for the industry to learn from the mistakes of others, to avoid them in future designs and therefore get into a more reliable equipment era.

Secondly, data management. Vast amount of data is gathered daily from SCADA systems and inspection campaigns. How to "cook" all that data in order to take educated strategic decisions can be a challenge.

Thirdly, internal blade damage detection in operating turbines. Much has been done to improve the detection of external damages, however I feel that the area of internal damage detection is still to be developed. Many typical external failures have their origin in internal blade defects or incipient damages. Being able to detect them in advance will lead to better and less costly solutions.

Q. What is the hardest part of your job?

GL: The hardest part, but at the same time the most rewarding, is to work with multiple technologies. Working in a multi-brand environment is a great learning experience since you are exposed to different designs as well as failure modes. This provides a very interesting view of the blade as an engineering artifact. However, working with so many architectures, with limited design and manufacturing documentation, makes it sometimes difficult to evaluate the complete blade lifecycle; especially lifetime calculation, assessment of damage severity and the design of repairs.

Q. In your opinion, what is the best strategy for blade maintenance?

GL: I don’t think "the best strategy" exists, but instead there is a best strategy for each case. Blade strategy is a function of several factors, such as technology, environment, operational requirements and budget among others. As these factors are changed so the best strategy will.

Q. If you had one recommendation for the blade O&M community what would it be?

GL: Let’s work together. It is in the benefit of everybody, including Earth.

Blade O&M Forum is taking place in Dallas, Texas, USA on 19-21 Septmber 2017. Visit the official webpage to find out more:

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