Structural health monitoring for offshore wind turbines – condition monitoring of the support structure of foundation, tower and rotor blades

for early damage detection, lifetime prognosis and optimization of maintenance costs

Higher and more consistent wind speeds than on land make the sea an attractive location for wind farms. At the same time, however, the wind turbines at sea are also exposed to extreme environmental influences and high dynamic loads. Structural health monitoring (SHM) on the foundation, tower and rotor blade and conventional condition monitoring (CMS) on the drive train are becoming increasingly important in this context.

"Anybody can install sensors or data loggers" says Dr Carsten Ebert, Manager Wind Energy at Wölfel. "However, the evaluation and interpretation of the data is the decisive factor. That’s the difference between measuring and monitoring systems."

Wölfel is the European market leader in the field of structural monitoring of offshore wind farms and has built up a unique core competence in signal analysis over decades. We offer comprehensive and individual support ranging from expert advice, delivery and installation of turnkey monitoring systems up to data evaluation. We record actual stresses with our sensor systems and then extract the really relevant technical statements from the flood of data. The integrated early warning systems can even reduce the number of inspections required by the authorities within the framework of recurring inspections (e.g. underwater inspections with diving robots). Based on the detailed system condition analysis, you can plan ahead, optimize the operation of your wind turbines and extend their lifetime.

Our services:

  • Development and design of turnkey monitoring systems, including coordination with authorities and certification companies
  • Provision of your plants with specially developed, robust and offshore suitable measuring equipment with direct interface to the WT control system and SCADA system
  • Data acquisition and data analysis by intelligent algorithms and experienced specialist engineers
  • Visualization of results in a web portal, including warning and alarm system
  • Reporting of monitoring results with individual level of detail - for submission to authorities, for design validation and as a basis for lifetime optimization
  • Development of concepts for periodic inspections in which the necessary scope of testing is optimized by integrating monitoring results