Wind turbines are subject to extreme loads throughout their lives. This is partly due to the structure of the turbines themselves – for example, the turbine blades and tower are only fixed at one end of the structure. As the wind speed increases, so do the loads the turbines are subjected to. This can reach levels almost 100 times greater than the design loads at rated wind speed, which is why many turbines are designed to shut down to protect themselves at higher wind speeds, however it is also one of the main reasons to carry out Inspections.
As a moving component, the rotor blades are subject to higher levels of loading and fatigue which has the potential to lead to crack formation. Welds and fastenings such as bolts are also prone to the presence of cracking and / or corrosion / erosion. Wind turbines also suffer damage from birds or other objects striking them as well as the impact of high wind speeds or lightning strikes. SONOMATIC NDT techniques are designed to detect all forms of fatigue associated defects as well as corrosion / erosion.