Offshore engineering solutions provider Aquaterra Energy and Proeon Systems, a provider of turnkey safety and control system services, have jointly developed a new integrated structural monitoring system for offshore wind projects.

The cost-saving technology solution is designed to improve the integrity of offshore wind structures and help operators extend the operational life of wind turbine towers while reducing potential failures.

In addition to improving inspection and repair planning, the system is expected to reduce the need, risk and cost associated with inspection crews travelling to offshore sites.

It will also provide accurate, informed, and real-time condition analysis data to operators to enhance maintenance, commissioning and decommissioning programs.

The UK based Aquaterra Energy said that the system integrates sensor technology developed by Proeon and its capability in structural mechanics and analysis.

Aquaterra Energy senior riser analyst Dr Andrew Lennon said: “The monitoring system mitigates the need for costly offshore inspections while providing knowledge and reassurance about the integrity of the asset.

“For example, where there is cracking or other problems in the structure, the data can be used to identify events which may be the cause.

“Trends in the data could be used in the future to identify problems before they occur and to determine life expectancy more accurately.”

Aquaterra estimates the global offshore wind expenditure to reach £210bn over the next ten years.

In order to monitor strain, movement, temperature, scour and meteorological data, a variety of sensors can be placed on all aspects of the installed turbine support structure, including the nacelle and foundation pile.

The data gathered can be compared with the initial data collected in normal conditions to determine the potential of degradation occurring, the company said.

Image: Global offshore wind investment is estimated to reach £210bn over the next ten years. Photo: courtesy of xedos4/