Wind Turbines – Smart Paint Technology
An environmentally friendly paint that uses nanotechnology to detect unwanted movement or damage in large mechanical structures could be used as a safety mechanism for broken wind turbines.
This smart paint is inexpensive and can simply be sprayed on to a mechanical device, and then attached electrodes are applied to detect any structural changes far enough in advance to prevent any severe structural damage.
The paint, which is made out of aligned carbon nanotubes and fly ash is easy to apply and very sturdy. The electrodes can be attached to a wireless device which can send signals to a safety monitoring screen.
Wind turbines, especially horizontal wind turbines, are susceptible to damage in high wind speeds. If a wind turbine is not properly shut-off in extremely high wind speeds they can literally be blown into bits, potentially causing damage and safety hazards to nearby structures, people, or animals.
Wind turbines are currently monitored mostly through simple visual inspections, which are both time-consuming and costly. The new smart paint system could both reduce maintenance costs and time spent inspecting wind turbines.