Sensing element is easily mounted near a blade in the turbine hub or inside the root

New collaboration between US Universities and DTU Wind Energy

Monday 25 Nov 19


Leon Mishnaevsky
Senior Scientist
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 57 29


Malcolm McGugan
Chief Engineer
DTU Wind Energy
+45 46 77 57 32
New collaboration between US Universities (New York and Tufts) and DTU Wind Energy in Structural health monitoring and maintenance of wind turbine blades.

Maintenance and repair of wind turbines remain a strategic challenge for the development of wind energy. An important aspect of the maintenance is the monitoring and assessment of structural health of wind turbine (structural health monitoring/SHM). Another important direction of reducing the high maintenance costs is the optimization of wind turbine blade repair technologies. 

Four research groups, three from USA (New York University, Tufts University and a company Blue Instruments) and DTU Wind Energy has decided to collaborate in order to formulate the optimal strategy for the structural health monitoring, maintenance and repair of wind turbine blades.

The project "Structural health monitoring and maintenance of wind turbine blades" is coordinated by Senior Researcher Leon Mishnaevsky Jr. from DTU Wind Energy, specialist in computational materials science, who is also a coordinator of Innovations Foundation/IFD project “Duraledge/Durable leading edges for high tip speed wind turbine blades”.  Senior Development Engineer Malcolm McGugan from DTU Wind Energy, specialist in structural health monitoring, will also coordinate the project from Danish side.

The New York University group will be led by Nikhil Gupta, Professor at the Tandon School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Professor Gupta’s group researches the integration of sensors with composite materials to help in detecting the damage during their service condition. Their work resulted in the development of a new patented fiber-optic sensor design. Due to small size of this sensor, it can be integrated with composite materials.

Professor Babak Moaveni, Tufts University, is a specialist in structural health monitoring and dynamic non-destructive testing of large structures, as bridges, tunnels, buildings, and dams, using smart wireless sensor networks. Another area of Professor Moaveni is probabilistic damage identification studies on large-scale structures.

The third US partner is the company Blue Instrument, Inc, a startup company focused on developing structural health monitoring technologies for wind turbine blade damage monitoring. Mr. Yi Yang, Chief Executive Officer, will participate in the project, seeking to establish better collaboration with Danish wind energy industry. 

The objective of this project is to initiate collaboration between US and Danish researchers and industry working in the area of wind energy development, life extension and maintenance of wind turbines. The project starts in January 2020.

"This project will create basis for knowledge exchange, organizing joint conferences and carrying out collaborative research for US and Danish specialists in wind energy and wind turbine reliability,” Leon Mishnaevsky Jr. says and continues:

“Given complementary research activities in United States and in Denmark in wind energy area, there exist large potential for long term collaboration.”

Malcom McGugan says:

“Wind farm operational data can be combined with information on wind resource and energy prices as part of a management tool; however, without including reliable, “real-time” blade condition monitoring in that software it will be impossible to fully optimize the service and maintenance operations for the wind farm. Accurate blade condition information will also improve life-extension decisions.”

Several US researchers will also participate at the an International Symposium on Leading Edge Erosion of Wind Turbine Blades, which will take place at DTU Wind at February 4-6, 2020

The project is funded by Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation.

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