SHM.Blade® – Intelligent System for the Detection of Structural Damage, Icing and Aerodynamic Imbalances on Rotor Blades

Rotor blades of 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 and distinguished from normal environmental and operational influences. Severe damage can be prevented by the repair measures, which are comparatively inexpensive at this early stage. Downtimes due to damage that is not detected or detected too late are avoided and the energy yield is increased. Periodic inspections are not sufficient for an early detection of damage. Continuous monitoring ensures a higher level of safety.


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

SHM.Blade is a tried and tested system, certified by DNV GL, that can detect structural damage on rotor blades at an early stage. For this purpose, a reference condition is used which is determined individually for each rotor blade, fully automatically, immediately after the activation of SHM.Blade. The determination of the reference condition is a blade-specific learning phase which ensures the system's high sensitivity to damage – despite the mass and stiffness tolerances caused during production. When the learning phase is completed, the system continuously calculates condition indicators, which provide information on the current condition of the blade at any given time. By means of a two-level warning and alarm concept, the wind turbine control can react and subsequent damage can be avoided.

How does a wind-wind situation pay off?

When two of the most renowned specialists for structural health monitoring of rotor blades join forces, the result is a big plus for all wind turbine operators. They are informed about structural damage at an early stage, maintenance intervals become more predictable and costs can be significantly reduced. Benefit now from the innovative hardware from Phoenix Contact in addition with the high data analysis competence of Wölfel Wind Systems.


IDD.Blade® – Ice detection with automatic restart function

Especially at so-called "cold climate" locations further weather-related risks arise. Authorities demand that a wind turbine (WT) is stopped in case of icing to protect against ice shedding in the surrounding area. In addition, increased loads caused by icing have a significant impact on the lifetime of the WT.  The measurement of vibration behaviour has proven to be a safe and efficient method for ice detection.

With the IDD.Blade option, icing can be reliably detected.

  • Automatic ice detection
  • Automatic switch-off in case of icing
  • Automatic restart of the wind turbine when the blades are ice-free
    = Reduced risk of ice shedding  

    + Early detection of damage
    + Detection of aerodynamic imbalance

As the sensors in the rotor blades directly record the actual icing condition, the results are much more reliable than an assessment based on meteorological parameters. IDD.Blade reduces shutdown times to the times of actual icing.

Via our web portal MIC.Blade, you have live access to all events at any time and will receive automatic alarms if defined threshold values are exceeded.

SHM.Blade for the detection of aerodynamic imbalances

Nearly 50 percent of all wind turbines have inadequately balanced rotors. In at least 30 percent of all cases, this is due to aerodynamic imbalance. This results in stronger vibrations, which lead to higher loads and thus to an increase in the consumed lifetime of the drive train, rotor blades, tower and foundation. The aerodynamic efficiency and thus also the generated electrical power of the wind turbine are therefore reduced. In addition, increased noise emissions can occur.

With the help of the imbalance indicator calculated by SHM.Blade, aerodynamic imbalances can be detected early and precisely. This ensures a vibration-optimized and component-protecting operation. A reduction in output is avoided and the risk of a shutdown of the turbine is reduced. The integrated pitch angle monitoring also allows for a lifetime extension of the drive train components and support structures.

Knowledge Library

Exploiting the potential of a wind farm in the best possible way – this is not only the overriding goal of manufacturers and operators, but is also essential with a view to achieving the fastest possible energy turnaround. In our white papers in the categories Increase yields, Optimize inspections and Extend service life, you can find out how you can sustainably increase the efficiency of your wind turbines.


Case Study "Ice detection with IDD.Blade – No loss of yield due to unnecessary downtime" 351.09 KB
Case Study "Ice detection with IDD.Blade – No loss of yield due to unnecessary downtime"

If ice forms on the rotor blades of a wind energy plant, it must be shut down in accordance with official regulations in order to protect the surroundings from ice being shed. Critical ice build-up must therefore be reliably detected using technical measures. A meteorological sensor for ice detection was installed in the Hamwiede wind farm from the very beginning. However, it became apparent already in the first winter that the shutdown due to ice was very imprecise. False alarms and unnecessary shutdowns became more frequent. The potential of the wind farm could therefore not be fully exploited in the particularly high-yield winter months. Discover in our case study how downtimes at the Hamwiede wind farm were significantly and reliably reduced with the help of IDD.Blade from Wölfel.

Please contact us personally


We would be pleased to support you in solving your problem concerning "Wind turbine vibrations" and advise you on questions regarding our system and service offerings in the areas of structural health monitoring, vibration reduction, sound and noise as well as structural design.

Timo Klaas

+49 40 524715-265
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Dipl.-Ing. Bernd Wölfel

+49 40 524715-266
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Lorena Sproll-Astorquiza

+49 931 49708-761
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