Wagon On Rail System - Siemens NX - Virtual Modeling and Simulation of a Method for Remote Inspection of Offshore Wind Turbines
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Offshore wind turbines are large, unmanned systems that are intentionally developed for areas with strong wind. The accessibility to these turbines are expensive and time consuming, and occasionally, the turbines can be inaccessible due to harsh weather. Therefore, instead of using on land maintenance and operation strategies, new solutions can be required to find more viable options. This thesis originated due to this new challenge and is created to provide research and inspirations to the idea of remote controlled inspection method of offshore wind turbines. The main objective of this Master Thesis has been to develop a virtual wagon-on-rail system that can illustrate fundamental behavior of movement of a mechanical prototype intended to operate inside an offshore wind turbine to perform inspections remotely. This has been approached in the CAD-software provided by Siemens NX. The making of a virtual replica of the real world prototype offer advantages both now and in the future. Further work might potentially open up possibilities for digital twin technology and in-time simulation applications that can be powerful tools for further maintenance operations and installation methods. Prior to this Thesis, a remote inspection robot prototype has been made and was tested in a wind turbine for several months. Due to un-fulfilled conceptual requirements, such as linear movements, a digital replica without the same motion limitations were created and presented in this thesis. The need for inspection at several heights and in countless lane patterns inside the wind turbine gave this project the opportunity to produce such a system, virtually. The results shows a digital version of a wagon moving on a stationary rail, bended both vertically and horizontally and simulations representing the weight of the wagon on the rail. The wagon is virtually 3D-designed to perform the required turns, but cannot be used as a finished motion simulated prototype yet. The computer-generated imitation involves a wagon sitting on the bended rail. The wagon consists of in total 77 elements, divided into eight separate designed parts, copied and distributed to fulfill the object. The rail are designed and built by a previous PhD. Student, but are slightly adjusted through a bending process and the inserting of holes by further discussed reasons. The work that has been done is yet to undergo further work and is not a finished product even though the requirements intended for this thesis is fulfilled and completed with varying results.