Dynamic monitoring system for utility-scale wind turbines: damage detection and fatigue assessment


Wind turbines are designed to last about 20 years. However, information regarding the actual structural condition of the wind turbine throughout this period is very limited or even null. This situation prevents the exploitation of the full potential of the support structure of the turbine, including the extension of its period of life. This paper presents an overview of a dynamic monitoring system developed to monitor the structural integrity of utility-scale wind turbines. This monitoring system, based on automated techniques of operational modal analysis, aims to deliver important information regarding the actual condition of the wind turbine: early detection of structural changes (i.e. damage) and evaluation of fatigue condition of the support structure. In this paper, a special focus is given to the latter.

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The authors would like to acknowledge: (1) all the financial support provided by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) to ViBest/FEUP in the framework of the Project Dynamic Behaviour Monitoring for Structural Safety Assessment/National Network of Geophysics (National Programme for Scientific Re-equipment) (2) the Ph.D. Scholarship (SFRH/BD/79328/2011) provided by FCT to the first author; (3) the support given by INEGI, the wind turbine manufacturer Senvion and the wind turbine owner Cavalum.

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Correspondence to Gustavo Oliveira.

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Oliveira, G., Magalhães, F., Cunha, Á. et al. Dynamic monitoring system for utility-scale wind turbines: damage detection and fatigue assessment. J Civil Struct Health Monit 7, 657–668 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13349-017-0250-7

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  • OMA
  • Wind turbine
  • Damage detection
  • Fatigue estimation