Application of a Wireless Sensor Node to Health Monitoring of Operational Wind Turbine Blades
Structural health monitoring (SHM) is a developing field of research with a variety of applications including civil structures, industrial equipment, and energy infrastructure. An SHM system requires an integrated process of sensing, data interrogation and statistical assessment. The first and most important stage of any SHM system is the sensing system, which is traditionally composed of transducers and data acquisition hardware. However, such hardware is often heavy, bulky, and difficult to install in situ. Furthermore, physical access to the structure being monitored may be limited or restricted, as is the case for rotating wind turbine blades or unmanned aerial vehicles, requiring wireless transmission of sensor readings. This study applies a previously developed compact wireless sensor node to structural health monitoring of rotating small-scale wind turbine blades. The compact sensor node collects low-frequency structural vibration measurements to estimate natural frequencies and operational deflection shapes. The sensor node also has the capability to perform high-frequency impedance measurements to detect changes in local material properties or other physical characteristics. Operational measurements were collected using the wireless sensing system for both healthy and damaged blade conditions. Damage sensitive features were extracted from the collected data, and those features were used to classify the structural condition as healthy or damaged.
KeywordsFatigue Covariance Estima Aliasing Cracking
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