How to use an Articulating Borescope for a Wind Turbine Inspection
Wind turbines are a part of a movement towards more environmentally friendly power options. They harness the power of wind to create cleaner energy that is far more cost-effective than oil and coal to create power. While they have a long life span, wind turbines do require inspections during regular maintenance, and when something is broken. These inspections will make sure the equipment meets its life expectancy and perform at its best, with very minimal downtime. Using an articulating borescope will make the inspection job a lot more thorough, and safer for the operator. If you aren’t using a borescope from SPI Borescopes to inspect your wind turbine equipment, you could be missing a lot.
Inside a Wind Turbine
A wind turbine is simple in theory. The energy produced by the wind turns propeller blades around a rotor. This rotor is connected to a shaft that spins a generator to make electricity. There are two different kinds of wind turbines in use today. The first is a horizontal-axis type that has either two or three blades and is operated with the blades facing towards the wind. While the second is a vertical-axis type that works more like an egg beater.
The utility-scale of a wind turbine can range from 100 kilowatts to several megawatts. For obvious reasons, wind turbines work best near large bodies of water, but they are also built in remote areas of land that have little vegetation on them so as to not to waste viable land. You will often find wind turbines constructed in a group known as a wind farm. When they are put up in a group like that this, they provide a bulk amount of power, but you can also expect that the operator is constantly inspecting or repairing one or more of these wind turbines at any given time.
How to Use an Articulating Borescope to Inspect Wind Turbines
Using an articulating borescope is the easiest way to get a visual look at the components of a wind turbine, without having to actually disassemble anything. As you can imagine, disassembling something like this is not easy due to its size, and not to mention how far up in the air wind turbines are constructed. Using an articulating borescope lets you see gearboxes, blades, and everything else needed to keep these huge pieces of equipment operational. To inspect a wind turbine with an articulating borescope:
Make sure the battery is fully chargedIt can take hours and hours to inspect the components of a wind turbine. So you don’t have to stop in the middle of a job, head out with a full battery.
Extend the tube and insert the probe into an entry pointDepending on which system on the wind turbine you are inspecting, you’ll need to fully extend the probe and carefully guide it into your entry point. This is a careful process so you don’t damage the optics of the borescope.
Take your time inspecting the systemsWith something as large as a wind turbine, the systems aren’t exceptionally complex, but they are large. Most operators check one system at a time so they don’t miss anything in the process.
Don’t force the borescope and remove carefullyDuring the inspection, do not force the borescope if it can’t navigate around a component. Doing so will cause damage to small parts and even the borescope itself. When you are done, carefully retract the borescope and remove as gently as you inserted it.
Inspecting a wind turbine is easy and straightforward, and will prevent extensive downtime and even costly damage on down the road.