WATEREYE Concept

WATEREYE will improve the whole process of sensing, monitoring, smart data analysis and control of such structures providing Wind Farm Operators with highly accurate, quick and smart decision-making capabilities.

The most critical downtimes in offshore Wind Turbines are caused by failures of structural components, caused by corrosion at tower including the “tower-platform” junction and the entire splash-zoneWATEREYE will develop corrosion monitoring and RUL (Remaining Useful Life-time) forecasting for offshore Wind Turbines´ structures.

WATEREYE will develop technologies for monitoring, data analytics, modelling, and diagnosis and for Wind Turbine and WF O&M advanced control strategies. These will contribute to significant OPEX reduction and improve the efficiency and profitability of offshore energy resources.

WATEREYE will remove current technological barriers in offshore wind structural health in terms of: sensing, monitoring, diagnosis and prognosis and Wind Turbine and WF control tools.

WATEREYE SYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

SMART SENSING AND MONITORING SYSTEM (WP2)

WATEREYE will strongly address the development of SENSING AND MONITORING SYSTEM by firstly developing low-cost ad-hoc smart sensors based on Ultrasound technology to measure the structural components wall thickness and loss of material and to predict other structural defects like corrosion cracks.

The drone solution works inside, the system detects the loss of material and thus, is capable of monitoring the corrosion produced outside. This monitoring system will function 24/7 automatically in an unattended manner.

In parallel, with the purpose of ensuring a reliable, accurate and efficient sending of the pre-processed US data (e.g. corrosion features data), WATEREYE will develop a wireless communication system based on a radio frequency to send the corrosion features data to the base station. Aspects such as the effective range, data rate, and bandwidth, immunity from noise, EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and power requirements will be analysed for an effective communication at short ranges.

Furthermore, experimental corrosion testing, analysis and research will be executed (SINTEF Industry with PLOCAN support and supervision) in simulated and real harsh environment of offshore structural steel samples to extract information to define sensitivity, accuracy and durability of the structural materials in relevant environmental conditions and to carry out comparability analysis with monitored data as well as to define advanced corrosion models that will be used later as an input to the WATEREYE software diagnosis and prognosis tools.

WIND TURBINE STRUCTURAL HEALTH DIAGNOSIS, PROGNOSIS AND DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS (WP3)

Based on the collected data (thanks to the sensing systems and communication together with structural health corrosion models and real behaviour), WATEREYE will develop accurate corrosion DIAGNOSIS and PROGNOSIS tools for offshore Wind Turbine structures.

That involves three conceptual steps of transition of the information:

  • An efficient data management and the development of a tool including: data acquisition, data storing and data access.
  • Diagnosis and prognosis tools for Predictive Maintenance (PdM) of the Wind Turbine structural health. A diagnosis tool showing a map of the wall thickness loss/other damage features will be developed which will eventually form the basis to determine which hotspots of corrosion will lead to structural weakness. Model-based data analytics SW will be developed by combining physical models and machine learning based models.
  • The Wind Turbine control will be fed with Wind Turbine loads calculations and new Wind Turbine control strategies considering the accurate structural health condition and the estimated RUL, leading the information and its interpretation with the models to decision commands for optimal Wind Turbine control.

WIND FARM OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE CONTROL (WP4)

The WATEREYE monitoring system provides a direct measurement of the corrosion and deterioration of the Wind Turbine structure, removing most of the uncertainty associated with analytical models based on load histories. WATEREYE addresses novel WIND FARM O&M CONTROL tools by developing a unified monitoring and control strategy to link the information gained from the WATEREYE monitoring system with the practical WFs operation.

The WATEREYE control strategy and hierarchy will be conceived to be used for conventional wind farms, as well as virtual power plants with distributed energy sources (and other dispatchable and non-dispatchable power sources and energy storage systems).

Therefore, WATEREYE will contribute to the development of a virtual power plant – WF. The control algorithms will require the WATEREYE smart sensors, plus typical operation measurements of rotor speed, blade pitch, electric power, yaw angle, and an accelerometer in the nacelle – and will meet grid code requirements for wind power plants. The control algorithms will be flexible, in terms of the trade-offs between foundation load reduction, energy production, and blade pitch actuation, so that they can be adapted to various operation & maintenance strategies.