Structural health monitoring of wind turbine foundations using a wireless sensor network

Rights statement
Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2014
Thesis identifier
  • T13826
Person Identifier (Local)
  • 200975827
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Wind turbine foundations, that incorporate the 'embedded can' type tower/foundation connections, have been reported as showing significant evidence of vertical displacement at a number of wind farm sites. The 'embedded can' and connected tower sections in these reports have been observed to be moving up to 20mm or more in some instances. This poses a serious safety concern for the operator and action is needed to monitor and remedy the problem. There is currently no real-time, structural health monitoring system in place recording movement. The aim of the study was to develop and evaluate a novel wireless structural health monitoring system for an operator to facilitate monitoring of such movements, mapping and quantifying the displacement patterns and subsequently alerting any significant foundation events. Development of a novel displacement sensor array, connected to a wireless gateway and positioned in the bottom of an operational 2MW wind turbine offered a useful test article to evaluate the performance of the displacement sensors and the monitoring solution to track such movements. The results showed that the foundation was displacing vertically, especially during periods of significant gusting and during 'cut in' and 'cut out' periods. Results also show the effect of rotor acceleration and wind direction upon the level and pattern of displacement. This low cost monitoring solution would be easily 'retro- fittable' to track reliability and improve safety.
Resource Type
Embargo Note
  • The electronic version of this thesis is currently under moratorium due to copyright restrictions. If you are the author of this thesis, please contact the Library to resolve this issue.