SHM.Blade® – Intelligent system for the detection of structural damage, icing and imbalances on rotor blades

Rotor blades of onshore wind turbines are exposed to extreme environmental conditions and high dynamic stresses. At the same time they have a decisive influence on the energy yield and thus on the economic efficiency of a wind turbine. Incipient damage must be detected at the earliest stage possible in order to plan and take reasonable repair measures in due time and thus protect the investment.

Periodic inspections are not sufficient for an early detection of damage. Continous monitoring ensures a higher level of safety.

The solution from Wölfel: SHM.Blade® for the detection of structural damage.

With SHM.Blade, you increase the economic efficiency of your wind turbine. Due to the early detection of damage you can prevent the development of severe damage and thus minmize repair costs. At the same time, you reduce the downtimes of your turbine and thus increase the energy yield.

In the field of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) Wölfel relies on various measured physical parameters in order to be able to draw conclusions about structural changes from these multidimensional data. The decisive factor is a fully automatic online signal analysis directly in the wind farm. Damage must be reliably detected and distinguished from normal impacts from the environment and current operation.

SHM.Blade detects changes in relation to a certain reference condition. This reference condition is determined individually for each rotor blade fully automatically and without external intervention immediately after the activation of SHM.Blade. Such a blade specific learning phase ensures high sensitivity to damage despite the mass and stiffness tolerances caused during the production. After completion of the learning phase, the system continously calculates condition indicators, which provide information on the current condition of the blade at all times. By means of a two-level warning and alarm concept, the system control can react and subsequent damage can be prevented.

Especially at so-called "cold climate" locations further weather-related risks arise. If there is ice on the rotor blade, the wind turbine must be stopped in order to avoid expressive loads due to imbalances and material fatigue. In addition, the surrounding area must be protected from ice shedding. With IDD.Blade®, such icing can be detected reliably and at an early stage. If there is ice on the rotor blade, the system sends a warning and the wind turbine can be stopped. However, IDD.Blade reduces the downtime to the period of actual icing and automatically restarts the turbine when the blades are ice-free.