Maintaining and operating the structure of a Wind Turbine as long as possible makes sense from a technical and economical point of view, as it is one of the most expensive parts of a Wind Turbine. The issue is becoming more and more relevant, because in the coming years, many established Turbines are going to reach the end of their service life, which is 20 years. In the course of the MistralWind research project a concept is being developed to enable further operation and thus a lengthening of the service life.
To reach this aim, a methodology for inspection and monitoring of structures of Wind Turbines is developed in cooperation with IABG, Siemens, Max Bögl Wind AG as well as the Chair of Structural Analysis and the Chair of Materials Science and Testing of Technische Universität München, starting in August 2015 within a 3 year period. A focus will be put on instrumented monitoring of the tower and support structure of existing and new onshore wind power plants. Furthermore non‑destructive‑testing methods will be identified which allow an assessment of the actual state and by that enable an extended service life.
With the aid of the acquired data, maintenance and servicing costs shall be optimized. Beyond that the data will be employed as a basis for an extension of the service life of Wind Turbines and for the development of a control strategy that considers the remaining service life.
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