TWI has been working as part of a consortium of companies to develop a condition monitoring solution for wind turbine blades. We have been working with Renewable Advice (coordinator), EWT (end user, wind turbine owner), ASSIST (software, website), and Smart Fibres (hardware) to create the BladeSave system in order to reduce the risks associated with wind turbine blade failure.
By uniting the partners’ expertise in structural health monitoring, fibre optic sensors and management software, the consortium have created a system for the monitoring, management and repair of wind turbine blades.
BladeSave Destructive Testing Trials
As the project reached its final stages, TWI undertook destructive testing on a wind turbine blade that had been fitted with the BladeSave system. The tests allowed us to compare BladeSave to an existing commercial system and simulate blade cracking and propagation using controlled loading.
Fibre optic sensors were attached to the blade to monitor the growth of defects using acoustic emission.
The tests demonstrated how the BladeSave system can detect the early signs of damage from factors such as impacts or lightning strikes, monitoring the growth of these defects and sending information through the cloud for assessment. The fibre optic sensors are lighter than other sensing solutions, meaning that they do not effect functionality of the blades.
The tests demonstrated the capabilities of the system to detect cracks in the early stages to support maintenance decision-making for wind turbine operators. This ability to detect faults before they develop further means that inspection and repair is only conducted when it is necessary, saving money and reducing risk at the same time.
You can find out more about the BladeSave system here.
The BladeSave project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under grant agreement No 760353.
Project Leader - Condition and Structural Health Monitoring
Linghao has an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Adelaide and a Ph.D. from London South Bank University in Rotating Machinery Diagnosis. He has published numerous journal papers and presented in national and international conferences. Linghao has been actively involved in multiple European funded projects, which aimed to develop innovative condition monitoring systems for critical rotational and/or structural assets. Linghao is working towards professionally registering as a Charted Engineer.