Wind and waves develop enormous forces on offshore wind turbines. The accumulated fatigue loads on the turbine as a whole are not recorded. However, a continuous monitoring would help to prevent damage and to operate the plant optimized for each individual site.
The SWE develops reliable and economical methods for determining the load on key components such as the drive train, tower and blades. For example, neural networks are trained to estimate damage equivalent loads purely from standard operational data of an offshore wind energy plant. No need of elaborate instrumentation! The procedure is still in the testing phase but has been successfully applied to data taken from the test field "alpha ventus".
Stuttgart Wind Energy (at) Institute of Aircraft Design