Remote inspection: TÜV NORD audits wind turbine production for Vattenfall

30 August 2021 | Industrial Services: Joint second-party audit by local experts from TÜV NORD China and remotely connected experts from Germany.

Hamburg/Shanghai: TÜV NORD has used remote inspection methods to successfully audit the production for Vattenfall of key components by Vestas in China. The second-party audit was carried out jointly by local experts from TÜV NORD China and remotely connected TÜV NORD experts from Germany. Supplier Vestas is manufacturing the wind turbines for Vattenfall's largest onshore wind farm, Blakliden Fäbodberget, which is currently being built in northern Sweden.


Although the wind energy industry is a global one, the manufacturers, suppliers and production sites are often far apart. Even so, many wind farm developers set great store by second-party on-site audits to verify supplier compliance with their quality standards, using either their own specialist personnel or independent testing service providers. “We’re increasingly working with remote inspections in this regard which take into account the current travel restrictions and also mean greater efficiency and lower costs for our customers,” explains Michael Lange, Project Manager for Remote Inspections in the Renewable Energy Segment at TÜV NORD. “The coronavirus pandemic has clearly amplified the trend here, with the effect that the tools we’ve previously developed are now much more in demand, with one example being the current project for Vattenfall.”

TÜV NORD was commissioned by Vattenfall to audit the manufacture and assembly of rotor blades, nacelles and hubs by Vestas for the ongoing large-scale Blakliden Fäbodberget project, in accordance with Vattenfall’s own quality standards. The audits were carried out at the beginning of 2021 at the two Vestas production facilities in Tianjin, China. Each took two days. Supported by remotely connected TÜV NORD experts from Germany, experts from TÜV NORD China carried out the on-site inspection of the production and assembly of all mechanical and electrical components for the hubs and nacelles. Also inspected were the quality management system and numerous documents, such as design documents and work instructions. The blade production was audited in its entirety by an expert from TÜV NORD China who is fully qualified in the context of German DAkkS accreditation.

“Audits which combine remote and on-site work are now part of our everyday business,” says Alexander Ohff, Executive Vice President of the Renewable Energy Segment at TÜV NORD. “The technical requirements are mature, well established and working smoothly and stably. Our wind energy specialists in Germany, China and many other countries work closely with developers, manufacturers and suppliers all over the world to carry out second- and third-party audits with reliable remote support and local expertise at the highest technical level, even when time is tight.”

Vattenfall’s largest onshore wind farm to date, Blakliden Färbodberget in northern Sweden, will generate a total output of 353 MW with 84 wind turbines generating 4.2 MW each. The wind farm is scheduled for completion in 2022 and will generate green electricity for around 220,000 Swedish households annually. 


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