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The increasing size, and number, of offshore wind turbines being installed brings with it the consequent need for effective maintenance of the structures to optimise asset production. Current methods for wind turbine blade maintenance involve visual inspection, which can be dangerous, time consuming and costly. Developing a remote condition monitoring system is therefore of great interest to the industry as it could reduce costs which would help secure the future of clean energy.
Vibration-based structural health monitoring (VSHM) has already been successfully demonstrated as an alternative to the current method. However, an issue affecting VSHM is that the damage detecting components of the vibration are also sensitive to changes in environmental and operational conditions. These changes can affect the dynamics of the blade, disguising any evidence of damage or predicting damage when there is none. The aim of this research project is to build upon and improve current developments of VSHM by removing the influence of the environmental and operational conditions without losing any indicators of potential damage. This will provide more reliable measurement, thereby reducing the number of damaged blade false alarms. The number of manual inspections will be reduced, as well as the downtime, thus saving on overall maintenance costs.
Awarded: Carnegie-Caledonian PhD Scholarship
University: University of Strathclyde