Mar 14 2012

Sandia Leads the Way in Improving Wind Turbine Efficiency using Fiber Optic Sensors

Published by at 3:23 pm under General,OS Technology

Wind turbines

For the 4th consecutive year, Micron Optics Inc.  has been invited to participate in the 2012 Wind Turbine Blade Workshop, sponsored by Sandia National Laboratory.  In 2008, Micron Optics and Sandia began collaborating to study the value, reliability and effectiveness of commercial Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) technologies for use on operational wind turbine blades. The goals, as well as sensor types and analyses methods to be utilized on the  Sblade Project, were presented in the 2009 workshop in a co-presentation between Mark Rumsey of Sandia National Laboratory, Jason Kiddy of Aither Engineering and Alan Turner of Micron Optics Inc. .

The focus at that time was to investigate the survivability of the various sensor types during the life cycle of a wind turbine blade – from sensor installation during blade manufacturing, to turbine construction during operation (i.e., power generation from fall 2009 to spring 2010), and finally through accelerated fatigue life cycle testing.

At the 2010 workshop, I summarized the performance of the fiber optic sensing system: The Sblade program demonstrated that fiber optic sensing (FOS) is a viable and reliable sensing technology for the next generation of wind turbines.   FOS out performed all other sensing technologies on SBlade to the extent that FOS became the primary technology used in the follow on phases.

The follow up programs 2010 to present, the Smart Blade and Smart Rotor programs, have used FOS for a total of 6 blades. In the 2011 workshop, Jon White shared his vision for how smart rotor technologies will improve  efficiencies of individual turbines and the plant as a whole

Going forward, FOS will play an integral part in wind turbine efficiency.

- Alan Turner

One response so far

One Response to “Sandia Leads the Way in Improving Wind Turbine Efficiency using Fiber Optic Sensors”

  1. Lajukon 23 Mar 2012 at 7:54 am

    It depends on where you live. Like solar it can’t be cnteuod on 24/7, so you would have to have a storage system of some sort, and would have to be in an area with very reliable wind currents. I think a system that is still tied to the grid is the most practical and most cost efficient. You don’t need a storage system so you save money. Most grid tied systems allow you to sell back the excess electricity you create, so it is much more efficient. Since you can draw from the grid when you aren’t producing or when your need exceeds production you won’t have to worry about not having electricity.