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Structural health monitoring for wind turbine foundations

Currie, Magnus and Saafi, Mohamed and Tachtatzis, Christos and Quail, Francis (2013) Structural health monitoring for wind turbine foundations. Proceedings of the ICE - Energy, 166 (4). pp. 162-169. ISSN 1751-4223

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The construction of onshore wind turbines has rapidly been increasing as the UK attempts to meet its renewable energy targets. As the UK’s future energy depends more on wind farms, safety and security are critical to the success of this renewable energy source. Structural integrity of the tower and its components is a critical element of this security of supply. With the stochastic nature of the load regime a bespoke low cost structural health monitoring system is required to monitor integrity of the concrete foundation supporting the tower. This paper presents an assessment of ‘embedded can’ style foundation failure modes in large onshore wind turbines and proposes a novel condition based monitoring solution to aid in early warning of failure. The most common failure modes are discussed and a low-cost remote monitoring system is presented.