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MONITOR JIP Begins Development of Structural Health Monitoring System for Offshore Wind Farms

14 Jun 2016

Many offshore wind stakeholders acknowledge the relevance of monitoring offshore wind support structures. However, a dedicated standard for the design and installation of a monitoring system is still lacking. So is an effective tool to interpret and assess the collected data. A consortium of industry experts is now working on a solution.

The consortium, MONITOR JIP, consists of Gemini Windfarm, Van Oord, Keppel Verolme, Mecal, ECN and TNO. The main goal of the consortium is to develop and validate a robust and effective offshore wind farm support structure monitoring system, including the underlying methodologies to interpret the collected data. Such a system will enable a wind farm operator to know the structural health of multiple support structures within an offshore wind farm. This understanding is the basis for asset value quantification and support structure design validation and optimisation.

Strengths combined

This combination of consortium partners has the knowledge and tools to enable a successful execution of the project. The 600MW Gemini Windfarm is the demonstration site for the technology. Van Oord is involved as one of the leading contractors in the offshore wind industry. Keppel Verolme and Mecal provide technical know-how on the design of wind turbines and support structures. Finally, ECN’s Fleetleader software and TNO’s Optimal State Estimator tool form the basis for the offshore monitoring system.

Addressing a need

There are a number of reasons why structural monitoring of steel structures in general – and offshore wind support structures in particular – is a good investment. First, processed monitoring data provide the structural health status of the support structures. With this status, an operator can predict the remaining lifetime of the structures, determine whether lifetime extension is possible, and potentially optimise the inspection and maintenance scheme. Second, monitoring data can be used to validate a specific design. In general, such validation comprises the simulated structural behaviour of the support structure and predicted external conditions. Third, monitoring data gathered in a uniform and organised way, on a large scale, provides very powerful evidence for support structure design standard optimisation.

For more information about MONITOR JIP, please contact Sjoerd van der Putten.

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