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Innovative monitoring of the North Sea Foundations

In 2010 researchers of the acoustics & vibrations department of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) started working on the topic of FSHM (Foundation Structural Health Monitoring), back when this abbreviation was not very well known in the wind power industry. Going back six years ago, the main research in the field of sensors and monitoring was targeted at the rotating equipment in a wind turbine, so called CMS (Condition Monitoring Systems) as it is known in many industries. Gearboxes and generators were the key components to be monitored to predict failures in order to reduce the expensive maintenance costs associated with these parts. PES finds out more.

Currently, wind turbine drivetrains and electrical components are no longer the only components that are equipped with sensors and monitoring tools: also structural parts as blades, towers and foundations are now being instrumented with dedicated sensor layouts to monitor their health and even predict their residual lifetime using smart data-analysis and interpretation of the loads they encounter during their operational life.

As part of OWI-Lab – the Belgian research, development and innovation platform for wind energy which was also set up in 2010 – specific research projects have been set up that aimed at reducing the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). In partnership with several operational offshore wind farms in the Belgian North Sea, specific research measurement campaigns were set up.

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