Monitoring system for submerged wind turbine sections

| Global Environmental Processes

Gabbard offshore wind farm
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The structural integrity of the subsea monopile on a large offshore wind farm is being monitored in real time by acoustic monitoring specialists at Mistras.

Mistras Group has successfully completed the design, manufacture, installation and first year’s operation of structural health monitoring systems on 32 offshore wind turbines in the Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm. This customised system was developed by Mistras engineers located in the UK and the USA to confirm the structural integrity of the subsea monopile on each of the 32 turbines. The contract was awarded following development and subsequent trial of monitoring systems on an initial 5 turbines over an eighteen-month period.

The Mistras 24/7 monitoring solution acquires data from sensors, which is correlated together with data from field operations to give information on monopile integrity in real-time, including system and alarm status. The management and maintenance of the systems is carried out by Mistras technicians from its Cambridge operation.

The Greater Gabbard Offshore Wind Farm has been fully operational since September 2012 and is a 50/50 joint venture partnership between SSE and RWE Innogy. The wind farm, located 23 kilometres (12 miles) off the coast of Suffolk, comprises 140 wind turbines and has an installed capacity of 504 megawatts. The turbines generate enough clean electricity to power around 530,000 homes each year.

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