New software optimises blade testing improve erosion testing of the leading edges of wind turbine blades.

In the innovation project REQUIM, several partners are developing a new technology that can improve erosion testing of the leading edges of wind turbine blades. The product improves both the quality of testing and makes the test faster to complete.

Image: Energy Cluster DenmarkImage: Energy Cluster Denmark

Wind turbine blades tend to erode as the years go by in the wild.

To counteract damage to the leading edges of the blades – damage that mainly comes from rain – the wind power industry regularly launches new materials in the blades so that they last longer. These materials are tested prior to market introduction, which happens in a so-called Rain Erosion Tester, where blade parts are quickly centrifuged in a real environment while being exposed to water droplets.

“Erosion is a big problem in the wind industry because when the blade wears, the wind turbine produces less energy,” says Charlotte Bay Hasager, professor at DTU Wind and Energy Systems.

“It’s aerodynamic in the beginning, but gets worse at performing as the surface deteriorates,” she says.

DTU Wind and Energy Systems participates together with partners from Wind Power Lab and R&D Test Systems A/S in the innovation project REQUIM, where they jointly optimise rain testing of blades with artificial intelligence. Energy Cluster Denmark facilitates the project.

“Our role in the project is to develop software that can accurately tell when erosion begins to occur when testing new products for the wind and aerospace industry,” says Anders Røpke, CEO of Wind Power Lab: “Our software will optimise the use of rain erosion tests so that the quality of erosion products is thoroughly tested before use,” he says.

Big savings

Today, blade damage is checked manually by looking at photos from the tests. The new AI technology automates this process, which can save up to 20 hours of assessment work per blade tested. It is currently possible to manually test for one type of damage in the top layer. With artificial intelligence, it becomes possible to test for air bubbles, cracks, and other types of damage across several layers.

R&D is the so-called problem owner in the project, as the company develops and sells Rain Erosion Test machines.

“We spend 20% of the test time on image processing after a test period,” says Rasmus Buch Andersen, Technical Product Manager at R&D: “Therefore, we will achieve great savings from automating the process further. We have 14 machines up and running globally right now. Their utilisation rate is usually very high – they are running 80% of the year’s available hours. Therefore, the product from REQUIM will make it possible to enter the market faster with your wind product than today,” he says.

REQUIM lasts a year and initially develops proof of concept. Subsequently, the partners want to apply for funding for a further development of the final product.

“This helps us to be ready for the future – a product development that we can use for our customers. We try to make something that can last for 25 years in real life, and therefore, it is important that we test as accurately as possible,” Rasmus Buch Andersen concludes.


The REQUIM project runs over a year and has a total budget of DKK 2.2 million. The project is supported by the EU Regional Fund and facilitated by Energy Cluster Denmark. The project partners are: R&D, Wind Power Lab, DTU Wind and Energy Systems and Energy Cluster Denmark. Read more about innovation projects at www.energycluster.dk

Energy Cluster Denmark
Press Office
REQUIM, Energy Cluster Denmark, rotor blade, blade testing, quality, leading edges, wind turbine, erosion, Rain Erosion Tester

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