Multi-Platform Inspection Maintenance & Repair In Extreme Environment (MIMRee)
Funded by: Innovate UK
Principal investigator: Dr Sina Serah
The MIMRee project will introduce a step-change in the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of offshore wind farms by removing humans from the loop during the inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) of offshore wind turbine blades. The aim is to significantly reduce the costs and turbine downtime associated with these tasks and reduce the H&S risks of using rope access technicians.
The developed MIMRee system will comprise of an Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV) with capabilities to autonomously transport, charge and deploy UAVs and blade IMR robots at offshore wind farms. The UAVs will be developed to both autonomously inspect wind turbine blades and deploy blade IMR robots on stationary wind turbine blades. The blade IMR robot will be developed to conduct both autonomous NDT inspections and maintenance and repairs of wind turbine blades.
The MIMRee will
- Remove the need to send humans offshore to carry out wind turbine blade IMR tasks;
- Remove the need to shut wind turbines down to carry out blade inspections;
- Reduce the risk of using autonomous vehicles offshore to carry out asset IMR tasks;
- Safely demonstrate a fully autonomous approach to blade IMR tasks in real-world operating conditions;
- Establish the business case for using autonomous vehicles for blade IMR;
- Develop a roadmap for transferring the MIMRee system to other relevant industries.
The project is led by Plant Integrity Limited who are collaborating with Thales UK Limited, Wootzano Limited, BladeBug Limited, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, University of Manchester, University of Bristol, Royal Holloway University of London and Royal College of Art to develop and demonstrate a prototype version of the MIMRee.