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INEGI tests a tool to anticipate structural damage to offshore wind turbines

28 February 2024

INEGI is testing, on the high seas, an innovative system to monitor the structural conditions of offshore wind turbines in real time and anticipate the appearance of damage. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean, off the Sines, are the testing grounds for this new system, which is coupled to an underwater foundation installed 30 meters deepThe Institute had the support of the Hydrographic Institute.

Joana Machado, project manager at INEGI, explains that the underwater foundation is equipped with a set of sensors capable of measuring the efforts it is subjected to on the seabed. "The monitoring system allows monitoring and prediction of the structural integrity of offshore wind turbines for preventive maintenance”, adds.

The data collected, after testing in operating conditions similar to the real ones, will make it possible to assess the success of the system and support the creation of an accumulated damage prediction model based on artificial intelligence.

This monitoring system, developed by a team of experts from the Institute, also incorporates test specimens with innovative materials developed by the project partners, formulated to be more resistant and durable.

All of this work is being developed within the scope of the European Marewind project, which has 16 partners from seven countries. The team's mission is to improve the durability of offshore wind turbine protection systems against corrosion and create a system for evaluating the structural integrity of wind turbine blades in order to increase the useful life of materials and structures in offshore wind farms.

Offshore wind farms take advantage of the wind that blows offshore at a higher and more constant speed than on land. However, due to the installation location, the equipment and components that make the wind turbines are subject to an extremely aggressive environment that contributes to reducing their life cycle, resulting in damage or loss of efficiency in power generation, which has a major impact on offshore wind farm operating costs.

The Marewind - MAterials solutions for cost Reduction and Extended service life on WIND off-shore facilities project started in 2021 and is co-financed under Horizon 2020, the European Union's research and innovation program.

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