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International Journal of Strategic Engineering Asset Management

 

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International Journal of Strategic Engineering Asset Management (1 paper in press)

 

Regular Issues

 

  • A summary of defect evolution and health monitoring of wind turbine blades   Order a copy of this article
    by Idriss El-Thalji, Erkki Jantunen 
    Abstract: The wind turbine blade is one of most critical systems in terms of failure as the wind turbines are rapidly becoming larger and more complicated. Developing better design procedures are on-going and the enhancements over the time are promising. However, the wind turbine blades require reliable supportive monitoring and maintenance systems to ensure the satisfactory level of asset cost effectiveness. The purpose of the paper is to review the contributions concerning the wind turbine blade defects, in order to: first, understand how the defects in wind turbine blades evolve i.e. initiate and propagate over the lifetime, and second to understand how the defects in wind turbine blades can be monitored by a number of monitoring techniques. Therefore, the defect progression scenarios which are provided by numerous researchers are presented. The paper reviews the mechanical dynamic models, testing approaches and condition monitoring techniques that are related to wind turbine blades. The paper proceeds to provide a generic defect evolution scenario. In summary, the studies of defect initiation and propagation provide fragmented understanding of the micro and macro-structure behaviour of the wind turbine blades. The studies either investigate an individual defect type at a specific location or a specific single fatigue mechanism. There are some attempts to integrate the material and damage mechanics analyses at micro-level with the macro-dynamics analysis. The capability of condition monitoring techniques depends mainly on defect type, its initiation process, its location, and its propagation behaviour and direction. Therefore, these aspects are valuable to understand together with the accelerated testing and monitoring practices in order to improve the diagnosis and prognosis procedures and to enhance the cost effectiveness of operation and maintenance practices.
    Keywords: Condition monitoring; Wind turbine blade; blade defect; defect evolution; dynamic modelling.