Remote monitoring of stresses on offshore wind turbine blades  

2010.01.27
The National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy is in the process of developing a remote monitoring system for stresses on offshore wind turbine blades
The National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy, Risø DTU, is in the process of developing a remote monitoring system for offshore wind turbines, that can measure the stresses and strains to which the blades are subject during operation, writes Risø DTU in a news release.
 
The Smart Embedded Sensor System, or SESS, is being developed using models that can describe stress reactions, from individual composite components to the entire blade structure. The sensors themselves are of various types - fiber optic, piezoelectric and strain gauges - all providing different types of information to build up a total picture of the forces on the blade and the kinds of damage that can occur.
 
Considerable care is being taken to ensure that the sensor system is highly reliable and does not give false alarms which could result in a technician being needlessly sent out on a costly visit to an offshore wind farm.
 
SESS will be gradually introduced in wind turbine blades as experience is gained with the system. Thereafter, other applications could be explored for example with bridges and aircraft. One particular possible application that has become highlighted during the current severe winter in Denmark is the monitoring of stresses and strains caused by the weight of snow on the roofs of large animal housing units. Several incidences of collapsed roofs have recently occurred, involving significant loss of livestock.

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