As the world entered a new millennium, Dr. Peter Volkmer discovered that condition monitoring of the rotor blades of wind turbines not only reduces risks but also pays for itself. At the time, systems monitoring the power train were already available and so the obvious question was why the most stressed parts of a wind turbine, the blades, remained unmonitored. This idea has been developed and Dr. Volkmer explains to PES the all round benefits of BLADEcontrol.
Being a physicist, Dr. Volkmer thought of possible solutions and chose an approach common in power plant engineering: The analysis of variations of natural frequencies. The method is routinely used in conjunction with other technical systems such as steam turbine vanes and aerofoils.
Natural Oscillation of Elastic Bodies
The basis of this technological development is the physical phenomenon of mechanical natural oscillation. Each elastic body vibrates when appropriately stimulated, just as a wine glass gives a tone when clinked.