Triboluminescent Sensor Network for Load Monitoring in Wind Turbine Blades
Wind turbines require control systems to ensure safe operation, to maximize power production, and to minimize extreme and fatigue loading of the structure. As wind blades become larger and are located in remote areas as well as offshore, there is a growing need to monitor and control the various loads acting on these composite structures. Nanotechnology Patronas Group Inc. is working with the High-Performance Materials Institute, FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, to develop a new sensor system based on the proprietary in-situ triboluminescent optical fiber (ITOF) sensor. The new sensor, ITOFPressTM, consists of an ITOF sensor network with micro-exciters integrated within a polymer matrix. The ITOFPressTM will provide real time quasi-distributed load information on the composites blades that will serve as inputs for enhanced active control of wind turbines. According to experts, this capability has the potential to improve the power output from a turbine by a significant amount due to increased operational time. Three key sensor design factors: the number of sensor network excitation points, the coarseness of micro-exciters, and the triboluminescent concentration will be investigated to determine their relationship to the ITOFPressTM load sensing performance. The sensor configuration performance will be evaluated by measuring and comparing the triboluminescent signals received during mechanical loading. In addition, microscopy tools such as the scanning electron microscope will be used to characterize the interface between the integrated ITOF sensor and the polymer matrix material.
Authors: Md Abu S. Shohag, Emily C. Hammel, Yourri-Samuel Dessureault, Kunal Joshi, David O. Olawale, Tarik J. Dickens, and Okenwa I. Okoli
Conference: CAMX 2016 – Anaheim