There are tricky cases in which Life Time Extension or a general proof of stability cannot be realized by the usual means. In those cases it is advantageous to replace the theoretical calculation models with practical measurements. We developed a load monitoring system that can assess the actual stress of the tower and foundation of the turbine with small technical effort. This way, we can monitor live how the turbine is utilized in terms of loads. By employing smart evaluation methods, we can also reconstruct the stresses in the history of the turbine as well as predict future stresses. This is especially interesting for the Life Time Extension of newer types of wind turbines that usually have smaller reserves for continued operation than older types.
PE-Life actually consists of two systems: PE-Life and PE-Life smart. PE-Life employs accelerometers as well as strain gauges to characterize and validate the calculation model for the loads. For this purpose, PE-Life is installed in a reference turbine. After model characterization, PE-Life smart is installed in other wind turbines of the same type in the wind farm. By using information from the reference turbine, PE-Life smart operates with acceleration measurements exclusively, making the measurement very inexpensive.
- determination of the exact stress history of the turbine over the entire life time
- reliable assessment of actual loads, e. g. for Life Time Extension
- scale effects: PE-Life becomes cheaper the more turbines of a type are monitored in a wind farm
- real-time load monitoring allows for independent validation of the turbine behavior and the evaluation of potentially critical events
- reporting in intervals and scope desired by the customer