• Wind Energy

    Offshore or Onshore: long-term follow-up results in maximal revenues and minimal risks

    Offshore Wind

    25 years under the most harsh conditions

    Offshore foundations for wind turbines (WTG) and/or substations (OSS) are designed to support the structure for the desired operational life of at least 20 to 25 years.


    In the design stage all measures are taken to ensure the structure will reach its lifetime, but in practice the real state of health of the structures still comes with a degree of uncertainty. New concepts, assumptions regarding soil conditions and loads as well as unforeseen events all have an influence on how the structure or some of its key components degrade. This in turn influences the real state of health of the foundations.


    The only way of having a continuous view on the foundation's state of health together with its evolution in time is by equipping it with a smart, multi-sensor monitoring solution. This monitoring solution collects not only continuously essential data, but also translates these data into indicators quantifying the various aspects of the state of health of the structure. The structural integrity monitoring serves as a tool to guide O&M operations, but also when considering lifetime extension or re-powering of (a part of) the farm, a decision that in that case can be based on long-term structural and operational data.


    Autonomous offshore monitoring solutions

    Zensor offers fully integrated, autonomous and robust monitoring solutions for the foundation structures of offshore wind turbines as well as transformer stations (OHVS).


    Every project has specific needs and Zensor offers CMS (condition monitoring) systems for both operational structures and newly built farms.


    The offered package contains multiple aspects:

    1. The engineering of the most suited structural health monitoring (SHM) solution for the given situation

    2. Assembling, installing and commissioning the setups, including a subset of relevant sensors to target relevant phenomena influencing the structural health of the foundations:

      • Corrosion activity

      • Grout integrity

      • Displacements and deformations

      • Fatigue and dynamic behavior of structures and components (natural frequencies, damping..: Operational Modal Analysis or OMA)

      • Impact

      • Inclination

      • Stresses and strains

      • Scour

      • Cathodic protection (impressed current: ICCP, and sacrificial anodes: SACP)

      • Dissolved species, oxygen levels, temperatures and pressures...

    3. Data acquisition, transfer and storage

    4. Data analysis using advanced algorithms

      • For early detection of deviations and/or faults

      • For optimal maintenance planning (condition based maintenance vs. planned maintenance)

      • Alarming based on pre-defined threshold values

      • Evolutions in time, but also a comparison with other structures on the same farm

      • Defining the real age of the structure, as a result of the operational history

      • Extrapolating to other non-instrumented structures

    5. Alarms, web-based user interfaces and/or periodic reports

      • For day-to-day management and operations

      • To guide and plan O&M activities

      • As a clear indication of the real and actual risk profile

      • In case of lifetime extension or certification exercises


    Onshore Wind

    Securing your investment, looking into the future

    Zensor offers specific monitoring packages for onshore wind turbine foundations and towers focusing on all aspects of structural integrity and lifetime extension.


    Sensors are placed at various locations inside the foundation block and tower to monitor:

    • Foundations

      • Microcracks in concrete

      • Water uptake in concrete

      • Disbonding between steel faces (anchor cages...) and concrete

      • Voids in concrete

      • Disbonding between flanges and grout

      • Integrity issues between different pours

      • Relative movement between tower and foundation

    • Nacelle integrity

    • Tower structure

      • Fatigue life of wall segments and bolts

      • Lifetime extension: calculating the 'real' age of the structure

      • Inclination

      • Changes in damping and natural frequencies

    • State of health of the blades

    • Mechanical shocks

    • Thermal events

    For each farm a fully tailored solution is provided including the engineering, design and construction.


    Long-term automated follow-up

    An automated follow-up system is launched after installation and commissioning. The collected data is presented in a live, web-based GUI and the results are further treated to gain insight into the evolution in the structure. It is the ideal tool for the long-term follow-up of your electricity-generating assets. The real age of individual structures is benchmarked in order to design assumptions. Therefore the risk profile can be further refined, and maintenance can be optimized.

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