Monitoring of offshore wind turbine structures

Being involved in designing the wind turbine structure, producing it or perhaps make sure it stays healthy and produces the power expected, there are a number of technical challenges to take into consideration and desired goals to achieve. We have taken a look at some of these where strain gauge and other measurements with our professional engineers can help you to gain knowledge and experience to be used as important tools in your work with monopiles, jackets and generators. Providing measurement data to demonstrate long-term reliability can assist with extending lifecycles. Our products and services can help you to achieve this. Condition Monitoring System (CMS) in this context can also be referred to as a Structural Health Monitoring System (SHM).

Condition Monitoring Systems

Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) helps you to ensure the stability of your wind turbine structures and components. CMS provided by HBM means identifying mechanical stress during measurements with strain gauges, displacement sensors, accelerometers and inclinometers. Our offer includes fatigue and structural monitoring of components and structures above and below the waterline, on long term or short term basis. CMS helps you to reach following goals:

  • Validating theoretical design work
  • Following industry guidelines
  • Generating reliable data for structural assurance
  • Ensuring a long and profitable lifecycle for your wind turbine generator (WTG)

A typical project includes installation of measurement equipment, conducting measurements and collecting data, reporting and analysis as well as ongoing support.

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"It was the first time we used field measurements at this scale. To ensure that strain gauges were correctly mounted on our equipment, we decided to bring in specialists from HBM. The dialogue with HBM flowed very well. Going forward, we now have a much better idea of how we can take advantage of measurement technology” says Mats Idoff, development engineer at Bromma Conquip.

Installation of measurement equipment

Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) have increased in importance over the years. There are industry guidelines to follow plus the need to reliably understand how the structure performs in the short term for validation, and in the long term as an aid to minimize downtime.

By starting with professional installations of sensors such as strain gauges the first critical part of the work is done. Our engineers knows how to get the job correctly done by having the right skills and a lot of experience in the field.

Conducting measurements and collecting data

Increasing the overall reliability of the wind turbine structure (monopiles and jackets) is an important issue, especially considering potentially harsh conditions at sea and the unpredictability of seabed geophysics.

So, are the structures behaving as expected? Conducting the actual measurements and collecting the data is the second step of the process towards finding out how the structures are really doing and what needs they have and what needs are expected to come.

Reporting and analysis

You can benefit from understanding and gaining knowledge of how the real conditions effect the structures over time. This can also help you to plan operation and maintenance (O&M) work in the most cost effective way, helping to avoid unplanned downtime.

The third step is to provide the conclusions of the measurements though reporting and analysis. That´s where the important information is revealed about the true health of your structures.