Romotioncam in the Erneuerbare energien magazine
What services do you offer?
Holger Nawrocki: Our patented method for blade inspections is the only one available on the market that conducts inspections while the wind turbine is in operation. Romotioncam is an innovative technology for monitoring rotor blades during the operation of the wind turbine. The ground-based Romotioncam performs blade inspections and captures high-resolution images for damage reports.
How does the technology work?
René Harendt: The technology, developed in collaboration with Fraunhofer, involves a video camera filming the blade, while a photo camera on a pan-tilt head runs synchronously with the blade as photos are taken. This approach helps avoid blurring despite high blade tip speeds. The high-resolution images provide a clear view of damages and their dimensions. We create a 360° image of the blade using shots from six different perspectives.
What happens with the data?
René Harendt: The data is collected and securely stored. During the analysis, damages are marked, assessed, and categorized. An inspection report is generated immediately. Romotioncam image metadata can be customized to integrate seamlessly into any client software interface and database.
What is your unique selling proposition?
Holger Nawrocki: Because blade inspection takes place during normal operation, we have no downtime. This, in turn, means a particularly efficient optimization of the wind farm. We achieve a maximization of energy production for each wind turbine. Romotioncam can inspect 5 to 10 wind turbines per day with blades of any length, taking 45 to 60 minutes per turbine. Another unique feature is that inspections can occur even at high wind speeds and rotational speeds of up to 25 rpm. Detection from a distance provides the customer with 100% planning certainty and, of course, complete safety for personnel and equipment. Decommissioning a wind turbine is a time- and cost-intensive process involving multiple parties coordinating downtime. Inspections during energy generation render these processes unnecessary.
Where do you see further advantages of your technology?
Holger Nawrocki: Our blade inspection method is the only one where blades can be inspected under tension, allowing for early detection of issues. Another advantage is that optical data acquisition can be performed even in challenging lighting conditions, such as cloudy skies. Moreover, no regulatory approvals are required – and this applies worldwide. Also, the infringement of image rights due to shots of the visible horizon or objects behind it is excluded.
What are your references?
René Harendt: In 2023, we conducted nearly 1,000 documentations. One of our customers is RWE. We can deploy the system worldwide and have already gained experience in the USA, Africa, and Brazil. Currently, we have 20 camera systems and can theoretically perform up to 15,000 plant documentations per year. By the way, we are also collaborating with the Federal Institute for Materials Research on combining the technology with thermal imaging cameras.