Wind Turbine structural monitoring with Optical Strands sensors
Thursday, 9 May 2019
Designed to produce electricity from the force of the wind, wind turbines generators are increasingly efficient machines that must be able to operate with maximum efficiency and availability for a minimum period of 20 years.
Wind Turbines are made up of moving parts (blades, rotor and nacelle) and fixed parts (mast and foundation). Despite the care taken by manufacturers during the design phase, many factors can alter the expected performance and cause premature aging of components. WTGs are indeed highly stressed structures, even in normal operation, and are also very sensitive to fatigue and vibration phenomena.
As far as the mast and foundation are concerned, the visual inspections and assembly control campaigns usually carried out are not sufficient to know their structural health with precision. This information is essential in the following cases:
– Appearance of disorders
– Request for extension of the machine’s operating time
– Repowering studies
– Restart after accident or natural disaster
– Litigation with the supplier or construction companies
It is to provide that information that OSMOS has designed a new monitoring solution especially dedicated to the WTGs. The device consists of 4 Optical Strands sensors, a monitoring station and a data visualization interface.
Optical Strands are long base strain sensors. Both accurate and robust, their micrometric resolution and 100Hz acquisition frequency make them particularly well suited for monitoring structures under continuous load.