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Proceedings Paper

Impedance-based structural health monitoring of wind turbine blades
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Paper Abstract

Wind power is a fast-growing source of non-polluting, renewable energy with vast potential. However, current wind turbine technology must be improved before the potential of wind power can be fully realized. Wind turbine blades are one of the key components in improving this technology. Blade failure is very costly because it can damage other blades, the wind turbine itself, and possibly other wind turbines. A successful damage detection system incorporated into wind turbines could extend blade life and allow for less conservative designs. A damage detection method which has shown promise on a wide variety of structures is impedance-based structural health monitoring. The technique utilizes small piezoceramic (PZT) patches attached to a structure as self-sensing actuators to both excite the structure with high-frequency excitations, and monitor any changes in structural mechanical impedance. By monitoring the electrical impedance of the PZT, assessments can be made about the integrity of the mechanical structure. Recently, advances in hardware systems with onboard computing, including actuation and sensing, computational algorithms, and wireless telemetry, have improved the accessibility of the impedance method for in-field measurements. This paper investigates the feasibility of implementing such an onboard system inside of turbine blades as an in-field method of damage detection. Viability of onboard detection is accomplished by running a series of tests to verify the capability of the method on an actual wind turbine blade section from an experimental carbon/glass/balsa composite blade developed at Sandia National Laboratories.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 April 2007
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 6532, Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2007, 65321I (11 April 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.715800
Show Author Affiliations
Corey Pitchford, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Benjamin L. Grisso, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)
Daniel J. Inman, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6532:
Health Monitoring of Structural and Biological Systems 2007
Tribikram Kundu, Editor(s)

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