Blade maintenance in wintertime

Even though blade maintenance is rather seasonal, with the majority of blade repairs taking place during the summer months, there is plenty of work that can be done during wintertime.

Since the sun has set on the 2022 season and temperatures in Northern Europe have dropped, Bladefence have been hard at work fulfilling their customers’ winter requirements in various areas of Wind Energy maintenance.

By way of introduction, my name is James Spencer. I’m the Operations Director for Bladefence Europe. I started my Bladefence journey as a Blade Technician in 2014 and transitioned into management in 2017. This has given me a great opportunity to take the knowledge I gained in the field and apply it to my current role. This has shown to be hugely beneficial in many areas of the job but especially when it comes to the management and implementation of processes and procedures. I’m also responsible for resource allocation, making sure the right teams are in the right place at the right time.   

Allow me to give you an insight into what we are up to as a company this wintertime in Europe…

Well, where should I start? It’s certainly been the busiest winter season I can personally remember. There has barely been time to stop and reflect, or to pause for Christmas and New Year for that matter! We have had teams working hard on complex blade repairs, both externally (on the ground) using a controlled environment habitat and internally while the blade is still ‘up-tower’. These types of repairs are still possible in the winter months, due to the fact the working environment is controllable, which means the technicians are able to raise the ambient temperature and keep the materials (and themselves) at their optimal working range.  

You’ll regularly find our teams carrying out blade delivery inspections in the wintertime. The blades will be delivered to a wind farm or nearby port and our team will spot, document and repair any defects before the blades are lifted into position on the turbine. This gives the customer peace of mind that the new blades arrive to their wind farm in pristine condition.

We also have teams carrying out blade inspections with a variety of different access techniques, from ground-based camera inspections, to a more hands on rope access inspection and even drone inspections. These can all be carried out to full effect in the colder months.

Another way we can support in the winter weather is by carrying out maintenance inside the wind turbine tower. We have a team who are able to perform basic turbine tower maintenance work, such as ladder replacements and bolt tightening.

We certainly do not expect things to slow down any time soon, especially as the summer season is approaching. If we can be of any assistance with any turbine maintenance or inspection tasks this winter, please do not hesitate to contact our sales teams in Europe and North America.

I wish you all a very successful 2023!

James Spencer, Blade Operations Manager at Bladefence Europe

James Spencer

Blade Operations Director
February 15, 2023