Strain sensors for structural health monitoring of the turbine blades.

Research proposals

  • Research area

    Next generation materials and manufacturing

  • Institution

    Durham University

  • Research project

    Strain sensors for structural health monitoring of the turbine blades.

  • Lead supervisor

    Dr Natasha Shirshova (Assistant Professor of Engineering, Durham University)

  • Supervisory Team

    Dr Natasha Shirshova (Assistant Professor of Engineering, Durham University)
    Dr Claudio Balocco (Associate Professor of Engineering, Durham University)

Project Description:

Various techniques are available for the structural health monitoring (SHM) of wind turbine blades but most of them are still at the prototype stage. This means that for most of the time, the state of the wind turbine blades is still assessed using physical inspection, which could be especially problematic for offshore wind farms. The issues associated with many of the existing systems are not just limited active feedback, but also incorporation of the SHM system into the turbine blades themselves – whether during or post manufacturing of the blades. Given that most of the turbine blades in use are manufactured from fibre-reinforced composite materials, it is logical to use SHM systems based on polymers compatible with the matrix used in the composite materials, i.e. thermosets. The main aim of the project is to develop a system that can be used as a strain sensor and apply on the new as well as blades which are already in use. The system in question should not only be electrically conductive but also flexible enough to allow it to withstand the relatively high deformations experienced by blades.

Download all research proposals here