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Wind turbine project - Professor Yu Shi

With the world looking towards ‘greener’ methods of creating energy, harnessing the power of wind has become increasingly popular.

The University’s Chester Smart Materials Centre (CHESMAC), based within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, is the only academic partner in the ROMAIN (Robotics Operation and Maintenance) project, an EU-funded initiative for three years to develop a robotic-based inspection and repair system for wind turbine blades both offshore and onshore.

Wind turbines operate for between 20 to 25 years once they are installed and maintenance is essential to ensure they are operating effectively for both environmental and economic benefit. The project covers different research areas with industrial partners from the UK and EU countries including composite damage detection and monitoring, composite material welding, characterisation and assessment, robotics system, Artificial Intelligence modelling and wind farm and energy development.

The project is coordinated by EDP Labelec - Estudos, Desenvolvimento e Actividades Laboratoriais SA (Portugal) and involving Alerion Technologies S.L.(Spain), Front Technologies Ltd (UK), Rope Robotics ApS (Denmark), Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain) with together on the project with the University of Chester’s team led by Professor Yu Shi.

Professor Yu’s team will develop the rapid welding technology for the composite repair for onshore and offshore wind turbine blades and design and integration with the robotic system with project partners. When repairs are detected and required, the robotic will be deployed to repair the faulty area of composite components. The aim of this maintenance work is to lower the bills for using wind energy and alleviate the energy crisis by introducing more sustainable energy.

Professor Yu Shi is a Research Professor of Smart Composite Structure and Director of the Chester Smart Materials Centre (CHESMAC), an innovative hub to explore and develop the multifunctional materials for future industrial applications with the aim of building smarter, sustainable, self-powered autonomous systems, achieving extended life cycles and contributing to zero carbon emissions.

Professor Shi said: “I am extremely proud that the University of Chester has been selected to be part of this consortium and I look forward to working with our industry partners on this exciting development. This research aligns with our university’s research strategy on clean energy and sustainability. We are very exciting to be the only academic partner involved in this project to contribute our composite processing and assessment capability to further develop the robotic repair system for wind turbine blades. The project will aim to make wind power even more efficient in the future with further reduced costs of maintenance to make wind energy more affordable to the UK and EU citizens. This will significantly help to tackle the energy crisis and reduce the UK and EU residents’ energy bills.”

For more details of project, please watch the video:

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