Artificial intelligence and robots to make offshore windfarms safer and cheaper

March 9, 2017

The University of Manchester is leading a consortium to investigate advanced technologies, including robotics and artificial intelligence, for the operation and maintenance of offshore windfarms.

The remote inspection and asset management of and their connection to the shore is an industry which will be worth up to £2 billion annually by 2025 in the UK alone.

Eighty to ninety percent of the cost of offshore operation and maintenance according to the Crown Estate is generated by the need to get site access - in essence get engineers and technicians to remote sites to evaluate a problem and decide what action to undertake.

Such inspection takes place in a remote and hazardous environment and requires highly trained personnel of which there is likely to be a shortage in coming years.

The £5m project will investigate the use of advanced sensing, robotics, virtual reality models and artificial intelligence to reduce maintenance cost and effort. Predictive and diagnostic techniques will allow problems to be picked up early, when easy and inexpensive maintenance will allow problems to be readily fixed. Robots and advanced sensors will be used to minimise the need for human intervention in the hazardous offshore environment.

The use of robots will allow operation in difficult or hazardous environments: sub-sea to inspect cables, in high-voltage environments to inspect high voltage equipment and around the wind turbines to check their mechanical structures. The latest in advanced sensors will be used, for example sonar techniques to assess sub-sea cable wear and degradation in situ. This, along with state-of-the-art system modelling and , will be used to best assess the data produced.

The University of Manchester's Professor Mike Barnes, who is leading the three-year project, said: "The UK has world-leading expertise in the technologies and science in this area, but they have often operated separately. The UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council have supported this project to bring them together for the first time to make a real step change in this industry."

The project is a collaboration between the universities of Manchester, Durham, Warwick, Cranfield, Heriot-Watt and a consortium of companies from the offshore industry. Techniques will be trialled in an offshore test site in Scotland and a project demonstration will be given at Salford Quays, Manchester.

Explore further: Offshore wind farm maintenance could soon be a breeze

Related Stories

Offshore wind farm maintenance could soon be a breeze

October 17, 2016

The EU-funded TOWERPOWER project is developing reliable new techniques to continuously monitor the structural condition of offshore wind turbines. Optimising maintenance and inspections is a key way to help the sector achieve ...

Recommended for you

Enhancing solar power with diatoms

October 20, 2017

Diatoms, a kind of algae that reproduces prodigiously, have been called "the jewels of the sea" for their ability to manipulate light. Now, researchers hope to harness that property to boost solar technology.

Dutch open 'world's first 3D-printed bridge'

October 17, 2017

Dutch officials toasted on Tuesday the opening of what is being called the world's first 3D-printed concrete bridge, which is primarily meant to be used by cyclists.

24 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 09, 2017
Get it done. We cannot count on the 20th Century technologies much more:

"Dying robots and failing hope: Fukushima clean-up falters six years after tsunami

Exploration work inside the nuclear plant's failed reactors has barely begun, with the scale of the task described as 'almost beyond comprehension'"

https://www.thegu...-tsunami

As important is the fact we can put up alternative and renewable sources much faster and cheaper than a nuclear powerplant, which takes more than ten years, assuming no delays.
WillieWard
3 / 5 (4) Mar 09, 2017
Intermittent renewables are a fiasco in terms of decarbonization, e.g. Germany, California, Vermont, etc.
Trillions dollars wasted on unicorn energy pipe dream backed up by fossil fuels to compensate intermittencies.
Carbon-free nuclear power is the only way to stop climate change; even including all incidents, it is the safest per unit of energy produced.
gkam
1.5 / 5 (8) Mar 09, 2017
Willie, are you aware of all the pollution caused by all the equipment and operations at Fukushima? No? Why don't you tell those folk to use nuclear bulldozers and cars?

Isn't that the kind of silly stuff you rely on for riposte?

Silly, Willie, . . . silly.
Eikka
3.4 / 5 (5) Mar 10, 2017
Willie, are you aware of all the pollution caused by all the equipment and operations at Fukushima? No? Why don't you tell those folk to use nuclear bulldozers and cars?


That's a stupid point.

Don't forget the cars and bulldozers used to mine for materials and construct and then tear down millions and millions of wind turbines. That's a lanscaping effort on a whole different scale with roads, power lines, foundations, infrastructure built and maintained in the middle of nowhere because the renewable sources are so dispersed.

Does all that run on renewble power, or on fossil fuels?
gkam
1.6 / 5 (7) Mar 10, 2017
Okay, I'll compare the work and equipment necessary to put up a wind power site versus a nuclear one. You have no chance at all of winning that one.
ddaye
not rated yet Mar 14, 2017
Don't forget the cars and bulldozers used to mine for materials and construct and then tear down millions and millions of wind turbines.Does all that run on renewble power, or on fossil fuels?

Who's tearing down millions of wind turbines?
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (4) Mar 14, 2017
Okay, I'll compare the work and equipment necessary to put up a wind power site versus a nuclear one. You have no chance at all of winning that one.

Actually, George you are not presenting a correct "localized" comparison.
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2017
Don't forget the cars and bulldozers used to mine for materials and construct and then tear down millions and millions of wind turbines.Does all that run on renewble power, or on fossil fuels?

Who's tearing down millions of wind turbines?

Ya, Eikka. Think you need to re phrase that one... :-)
Whydening Gyre
5 / 5 (3) Mar 14, 2017
Carbon-free nuclear power is the only way to stop climate change; even including all incidents, it is the safest per unit of energy produced.
While carbon free is a goal, Breakdown (incident) free should be added to it....
However, carbon BALANCE is the best....
Eikka
3 / 5 (2) Mar 21, 2017
Okay, I'll compare the work and equipment necessary to put up a wind power site versus a nuclear one. You have no chance at all of winning that one.


Yes. And how does one wind turbine compare to one nuclear power station?

It's like the old joke about a chef who had to admit that he adds some horse meat to his coq-au-vin. "How much?" he was asked - "Well, you take one chicken... and you take one horse..."

Who's tearing down millions of wind turbines?


The people who build those turbines. Obviously they don't last forever, so they have to be torn down and rebuilt - and since there will need to be millions of them... you do the math.
Eikka
5 / 5 (1) Mar 21, 2017
Breakdown (incident) free should be added to it....


Nothing can be perfect. The question is simply about managing the outcomes.

That's the great fallacy about nuclear power: people expect it to be absolutely perfect because they think any accident is equal to nuclear holocaust, so the powerplants have to be built to "not fail" like the deacon's masterpiece - otherwise they're not allowed at all.

Well, if you allow no small manageable failures, then the inevitable will be a big unmanageable one.

The Deacon's Masterpiece was a story about a deacon who built a carriage with each part as strong as another, so nothing would fail, so 100 years later it all broke to dust at exactly the same time.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2017
The great danger of nuclear power is that it is not perfect and the consequences are Chernobyl and Fukushima.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam
The great danger of nuclear power is that it is not perfect and the consequences are Chernobyl and Fukushima.

https://youtu.be/-HOgkzZc4Co

http://physics.ke...re15.pdf

https://www.youtu...yv9arXqU

https://www.youtu...xY-wOrI8

https://www.youtu...rcdMiIGs

https://www.youtu...Zm8XO7Zc

https://www.youtu...I3ifi_UI

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2017
LIAR Rumpy, are you trying top deny the facts of Fukushima and Chernobyl?

How about PL-!? It killed three workers with a "fast fission", , yet the nuke apologists call it a steam explosion.

Tell us all about it.

I learned about the GE BWR by doing studies of the safety systems.

How did you get your opinion? Reading the propaganda from the NRC?
WillieWard
5 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2017
Chernobyl and Fukushima
Thanks to fearmongers and faux-greens, Germany is planning to build more 20 and Japan more 45 coal plants; although coal is far deadlier than carbon-free nuclear power.
Even so, the delusional Eco-nuts believe that intermittent wind/solar unicorn energy is replacing fossil fuels everywhere, except that Greenpeace still relies on marine diesel to propel their ship and motorboats across the oceans instead of windmill generators and solar panels.
Their cognitive dissonance is hilarious though environmentally sad.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2017
Gosh, Willie, have you read these warnings?

http://www.hindus...K3O.html

http://www.ndtv.c...-1671042

And this one:
"How India's Nuclear Industry Created A River Of Death, According to Court Case Claims"
http://www.huffin...e16e8dcd
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2017
"Their cognitive dissonance is hilarious "
---------------------------------

You are laughing at yourself.

My PV and EV system gives us cheap and clean power. What do you get?
WillieWard
4 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2017
My PV and EV system gives us cheap and clean power.
Share it with Greenpeace to propel their ship and motorboats across the oceans by converting lies into perpetual motion.
"alternative energy" = "alternative fact", in practice it does not sustain itself without fossil fuels as backup.
gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2017
I thought you would offer them a nuke boat.

Yes, . . . "backups", . . that is what they have been relegated to, with our clean and cheap power getting chosen as primary. I can't blame you , your nukes are no good changing power output such as load-following, but they are now too expensive to operate as baseload.

And you had better get busy finding ways to deal with the residue of your great folly.
WillieWard
3.7 / 5 (3) Mar 21, 2017
It is ever becoming clearer that intermittent renewables are a fiasco in terms of CO2 reduction, just a high-cost mystical placebo backed up by fossil fuels to compensate intermittencies.
Carbon-free nuclear power is the future, the only way to stop climate change.
"I hope that it is not too late for the world to emulate France and make nuclear power our principal source of energy. There is at present no other safe, practical and economic substitute for the dangerous practice of burning carbon fuels." - James Lovelock(environmentalist)
https://pbs.twimg...49zc.jpg
"When the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine you have fossil or nuclear. Make your pick."

gkam
1 / 5 (6) Mar 21, 2017
I'll take wind, PV, geothermal, hydro, and even batteries if we could stay away from more Fukushimas and Chernobyls.
Captain Stumpy
4 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2017
@STOLEN VALOR LIAR-kam
I learned about the GE BWR by doing studies of the safety systems.
blatantly false claim

if you had even 1/4 the "experience" in nuke that you claim you would be able to make an argument from evidence, not from senseless, ignorant scaremongering slogans

note: i provided at least links and references that directly refute your senseless, ignorant scaremongering

you provided your opinion, a distraction from the point, OT and irrelevant digression into your past history which you've never once proven as well as absolutely no evidence

who do you think people are going to believe?

the idiot who simply claims experience and launches into senseless, ignorant scaremongering?

or the person who left the links, references and factual data?

per your own request, then.......
gkam
1 / 5 (5) Mar 21, 2017
Oh, my, . . . This started when I mentioned some experience and you folk responded with screams of "LIAR!" and "BULLSHIT!"

It regarded my assertion that I worked on rocket-powered aircraft at Edwards AFB, and you kids really got angry when I sent you a copy of the Newspaper of the Air force Flight Test Center with my name and picture on the front page.

Then, we did the same thing with my service putting together and operating the Electronic Battlefield. I had to send you to three military websites with my name on them.

Then, there were the studies and reports for NASA, and I sent you kids the entire catalog with my name on page 41.

Then, the kids said I was not really a Senior Engineer in Technical Services for Pacific Gas & Electric. It was the same for my Power Quality work nationwide. Every proof meant another round of adolescent replies.

It is the price of being a grownup in a vandal-ridden internet.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (4) Mar 21, 2017
I learned about the GE BWR by doing studies of the safety systems
-and you know we know that you were a temp doing offsite instruction book equipment validation. And then you got canned. You lost 14-16 jobs this way.

So what could this have taught you about the tech besides the fact that you were not qualified to use it?

Every day you come here and brag about being a loser.

I dont get it.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.