Dr Mahmoud Shafiee, Head of Mechanical Engineering at the School of Engineering and Digital Arts, has had his research referenced in an article entitled ‘Repair robots for the offshore wind sector‘ on Engineer Live.
Offshore wind capacity across the UK, Europe and China is increasing, leading to growth opportunities in operations and management. Currently, these industries use a ‘person first’ approach, whereby vessels and rope access technicians are needed to maintain turbines. However, maintaining the increasing amount of turbines further out at sea is becoming more difficult and the energy sector is turning to robots as a solution.
The article references a study by Dr Shafiee which revealed that between 300-1,600 offshore wind turbines constructed in the late 1990s and early 2000s will need to be decommissioned by 2030. Until that time it’s vital that they continue to operate safely and generate as much power as possible. Deploying a maintenance and repair robot on these older turbines is not only cost efficient, but is also valuable in terms of the information the robot is able to gather and transmit back on the state of repair of the blade. This may lead to more informed decision making around the decommission timeline of individual turbines.
Dr Shafiee said ‘It’s so gratifying to see our research in Mechanical Engineering Group at University of Kent is being recognised by the domain experts and this is leading to a practical development that aims to improve structural integrity and operation and maintenance practices of offshore renewable energy technologies’.
The full article is available to read on Engineer Live, here: