GWO Blade Repair is one of the few courses that provides a complete technical qualification for work on wind turbine rotor blades in the wind energy industry. It is possible to begin your journey in the wind power industry and gain a foothold with basic safety training (GWO BST) and a blade repair (GWO BR) technician certificate.
We spoke with someone who knows firsthand how to get started working on wind turbines, the importance of training, and what else a beginner needs to become a professional. Meet Martin, an experienced specialist in wind turbine blade inspection and repair who also teaches the GWO BR course at IQTC Management.
Martin, I’m delighted to see you joining the IQTC trainer team! You completed the Blade Repair course in our training center about 6-7 years ago. Then you’ve worked for various companies in the wind energy industry, gaining experience on a variety of tasks. Tell me about your work experience with WTG blades.
Hey! Thank you for the invitation and for the trust. Yes, I’ve studied Inspection, repair, and maintenance of WTG rotorblades at the IQTC, as well as other courses such as GWO: BST, BTT, and ART. At the time of my studies, blade repair courses were not on the list of GWO standards, but my education provided a solid foundation for my professional career in the wind energy industry.
For several years, my day-to-day work has been blade repair. I’ve worked for various companies on numerous turbines made from different materials.
Speaking of your practical experience, are you generous in sharing your professional secrets with your students? Do you teach them some tricks?
Yes, of course. I’m not greedy (laughs). I believe that the most important aspect of studying is the exchange of knowledge. It may help technicians in saving time by completing tasks more quickly while maintaining quality and producing good results. Most of these are small hints that you won’t find in books. But I’m not going to tell you about it right now.
What was the most difficult thing about this course for you as a trainer?
The most difficult situation is when there are different levels of technicians. One is a novice, while the other is an experienced technician with varying levels of experience, skills, and knowledge. Finding a good compromise between them is difficult. I must pay equal attention to each of them and understand what exercises to give them to move their points to a higher level, based on their level of knowledge and needs. I need to explain everything in detail for beginners, and I also need to find something interesting for professionals. Needless to say, it is a huge responsibility, and my job is to provide useful information to everyone, regardless of their level of education or advanced practical skills.
What about the materials and instruments you usually use for training? Are they similar to ones you use at work?
These are essentially specific chemical materials that are also used in other industries. Material manufacturers used by a specific company may differ. However, the way they work and the techniques for using them are practically unchanged. Of course, before you begin working with resins, adhesives, and other components, you must follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and adhere to the proposed technology. You should do this at every new location, new employer, new turbine, new supply, and so on.
The main thing we teach in the GWO Blade repair course is the essence and logical sequence of actions. Students must learn about the functions of industrial materials and how they interact with one another. They must be able to recognize tools and know how to work with them, how to do the smooth application, and what conditions must be met to achieve a high-quality result. After that, while working on projects, technicians will gain experience and develop their own work techniques.
Is the amount of practice we provide sufficient for students to begin working on site, in your opinion?
I suppose so. Following this training, technicians will be able to perform cosmetic and minor repairs. If you began your training as a beginner, it will take some time to gain experience and smooth your skills before you can become a professional technician.
I’ve been down this road before, starting as a complete novice, so I know what I’m talking about. You’ll need experience if you want to be very good at this craft.