2022 EVENT


9:00am – 9:10am

Welcome Remarks From the Chairperson
Arnold Wilmink, Vice President – Wind Turbine Engineering, RWE


9:10am – 09:30am

KEYNOTE: Contrasting Old & New Blade Designs: What Is Changing?


Panel Discussion: Feedback Loops Between New Blade Designs and O&M Processes
  • Are OEMs designing with end of life/transportation in mind? How will sectional/modular change this and what else needs to be considered?
  • How might the latest blade designs affect blade O&M going forward? What issues are operators/owners facing at present?
  • What is being done at the design phase to improve the predictability in performance of the blades?
  • Does there need to be more education with operators on new blade designs?
  • Do owners need to be more involved in the design phase based on their in field experiences?
Chair: Arnold Wilmink, Vice President – Wind Turbine Engineering, RWE
Edward Stewart, Senior Engineer, RWE
Geoff Hoffheinz, Chief Engineer, Glennmont Partners


Presentation: Blade Manufacturing: Determining Cost-Effective Methods and Mitigating Environmental Damage
  • What are the latest innovations in manufacturing, tooling, mixing machines and waste reduction technologies
  • How can we use more easily recyclable materials from the outset?
  • What processes change in the factories to achieve larger blades?
  • What challenges are OEMs experiencing with building larger blades?
  • How can we increase composite supplier quality and reliability?
Eric Loth, Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Rolls-Royce Commonwealth Professor of Engineering, University of Virginia

11:00am – 11:30am: Break



Presentation: Transportation Challenges: Logistics Assembly/Disassembly and Repair
  • Removing the need for cranes: hub mounted blade assembly and removal
  • How will sectional and modular blades improve efficiency of blade movement in transport and repair?
  • What infrastructure changes are needed to facilitate the blade delivery logistics of planned wind energy growth globally?
  • What due diligence is required for transporting blades and their post life recycling?
  • Why should every owner/operator do their own due diligence before blade delivery to keep delivery costs down?


Presentation: Drone Inspections and The Power of AI
  • Enabling owner/operators with the skills to carry out drone based inspections themselves
  • Using AI to analyse data from drone images and categorise damages
  • What other uses can drones have in O&M, cargo transport etc..
  • How can we use meta data and AI to determine the quality of inspections?
  • How can we bring down the cost of inspections using drones?

12:30pm – 2:00pm: Lunch Break

2:00pm -3:00pm

Panel Discussion: Inspecting Better, Not Less: The Rise of Autonomous Inspections
  • How will automation decrease cost and increase efficiency?
  • Benefits of internal vs external inspections, when should they be used?
  • What needs to happen to take drone inspections to the next level
    • Removal of line of sight regulations

    • Improvement in battery technology 

    • Cost reduction 

    • Autonomous drone operations

  • Can ultrasonic and other onsite sensor derived inspections replace drones in the future?
  • The efficiency of autonomous inspections over humans, how far can it go with the correct support?
Chair: Arnold Wilmink, Head of Technical Support and Engineering North America, RWE
Georgios Roukis, Blade Engineer, Edison Renewables



Presentation: Analysing Failure Data To Optimise Inspection Timings and Repair Decisions
  • What can the largest datasets tell us about how to optimise inspections?
  • Using blade damage data to make inferred theories about erosion costs in the future
  • Building a neural network based on turbine type and blade size for forecasting future damages
  • Using AI to make smart inferences about potential future damages and pinpointing optimal repair schedules
Philip Gauthier, Sr. Wind Fleet Engineering Manager, EDF

3:30pm-4:00pm: Break



Presentation: The Next Big Thing: Sensor Use In Blade Condition Monitoring
  • What are the possibilities of real time data, load sensor data and digital twins?
  • Will sensor technology and its use develop with larger blades?
  • Using multiple sensors to get a full indication as to the health of your blades
  • What can be done to drive down the cost of sensor technology so it can be applied on masse

4:30pm -5:00pm

Presentation: Using Predictive Maintenance To Optimise Maintenance Programmes
  • What type of data and how much data is needed to get closer to predictive maintenance?
  • Will AI be able to take into account all the variables for real damage predictions or is too much data required?
  • What turbine models do we currently have enough data on to infer reliable predictions?
  • Determining a risk profile to better create a maintenance programme and boost AEP
  • Predicting damage progression and making smart repair cycles
Robson Liger, WTG Maintenance Manager, Cubico Sustainable Investments


Roundtable Topics

These roundtables will be hosted by topical experts: Pick a topic and join the discussion

Insurance Contracts:

What risks should and shouldn’t you take in service contracts with your OEM provider?

How Can We Better Categorise Blade Damages Globally?

Full Predictive Maintenance: How Can We Get There?

Host: Senior Representative,

Waste Reduction

Repurposing blades

Host: Angela Nagle, PhD Candidate | Re-Wind Project – School of Engineering, University College Cork

Data Sharing: Can owner/operators share more together to improve O&M planning

Dealing With Lightning Damage and Mitigating Lightning Strikes: Best practice and anti icing systems available


Closing Remarks From the Chairperson
Arnold Wilmink, Vice President – Wind Turbine Engineering, RWE

End of Day 1

9:30am – 9:45am

Welcome Remarks From the Chairperson


09:45am – 11:00am

Panel Discussion What Role Could The Certification Agencies Play In Data Sharing and Contract Negotiations
  • Are certification agencies best for verifying compliance or are they the perfect middle entity for better business generally
  • Could the agencies be a conduit to operators for general technology information from OEMs so they can better manage their blades?
  • Should we be pushing for better testing on newer blades to reduce failure rates? -What are the current data sharing agreements between OEMs and operators? Do they need improving?
  • Transferring knowledge from the OEMs to the operators: the importance of having experienced technical managers as an operator

11:00am-11:30am: Break 



Pecha Kucha Style Presentations: 6 Minutes. 6 Slides. 6 Innovations
  • 6 slides. 6 minutes. 6 innovations to help you protect, maintain or repair your blades from the environment.
  • Each presenter will only have 6 minutes and 6 slides to demonstrate their innovation.
  • Once all have presented there will be a Q&A session and the audience will anonymously vote for which one they think is the best.

12:30pm-2:00pm: Lunch Break



Presentation: Properly Categorising Blade Damage and Failure Modes
  • What is the primary impact of loss on AEP on particular damages?
  • What are the most common failure modes for each blade design?
  • Building a case of common damages to reassess with the OEMs and seek warranty servicing
  • Water intrusion and pressure changes and how it reacts to lightning and general erosion
  • Using leading edge erosion as use case for universal categorisation
  • How can categorisation systems allow for a level of human subjectivity, is it better to leave it to AI
Fausto Trasarti, EMEA Blade Service Manager – Onshore Wind, GE Renewable Energy

2:30pm -3:00pm

Presentation: The Science Behind Frozen Wind Turbines and How To Keep Them Spinning Through the Winter
  • Problematic wind turbine icing phenomena
  • Wind turbine icing physics
  • Novel anti-/de-icing strategies for wind turbine Icing mitigation and protection
Hui Hu, Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University


Presentation: Leading edge erosion: Why this problem will never go away and what to do about it?
  • What amounts of erosion are we talking about per year? How fast and what materials does it involve? Is this a microplastics problem for the atmosphere?
  • What advisory software is out there for damage categorisation?
  • How does AEP get affected by LEE and when is the correct time to repair?
  • What role does manufacturing and handling have in leading edge erosion
  • Should there be a classified difference between leading edge defects and leading edge erosion
  • Does tip speed affect leading edge erosion?
 Kirsten Dyer, Senior Materials Research Engineer – Blades, ORE Catapult

3:30pm-4:00pm: Break


4:00pm -5:00pm

Panel Discussion: Blade Recycling Strategies
  • What alternatives do old blades have to ending up in landfills?
  • Who should take responsibility for recycling blades at the end of life?
  • Is repurposing too expensive an option to consider when decommissioning a wind site?
  • What project examples are out there for blade recycling strategies
    • Assessing the volume of the recycling problem
    • What logistics need consideration?
    • What are some examples of planned projects for new uses of blades
  • What is the current legislation on the recycling of blades
  • What processes and standards need to change to tackle the problem
Chair: Peter Perault, ENV SP, SMCP, Enel Green Power
Angela Nagle, PhD Candidate, Re-Wind Project – School of Engineering, University College Cork


Presentation: Planning for the Full Life Cycle: How Best To Repower/Retrofit
  • What blade upgrades are currently available and how could they
    • Improve o&m processes

    • Increase AEP 

    • Reduce cost of repairs

  • What is sensible to expect from OEMs in the form of existing technology and what should you be adding to your wind site
  • Is repowering currently happening a lot earlier than it should?
  • How can you best increase life longevity of the blade
  • What effect does pitch bearings have on the performance and operation of the blades?
  • Is monitoring aerodynamic stress the solution for smart blade monitoring


Closing Remarks From the Chairperson

End of Day 2 and Close of Conference


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