SHM aims to improve the safety, sustainability and economy of dynamically loaded structures; e.g. wind energy plants, ships.
The research partner FuE operates the offshore research platform FINO 3, which will be used for the project activities. FINO 3 is located in the North sea approx. 70 km off Sylt.
Generally, computations on fatigue strength of dynamically loaded plants are performed in the design phase. The plants are then manufactured, assembled and operated according to the results. Inspection and maintenance programs are conducted regularly along the operation and, if necessary repair work will be performed. Presently, the maintenance activities are not based on accompanying computations for the material fatigue but empirically supported on the basis of the design calculations.
By nature, activities are difficult to empirically predict when plants and/or components are innovative and we thus lack reliable long term experience; e.g. offshore windenergy plants, floating platforms, highly specialized ships. As a result, serious complications are to be taken into account. In Offshore energy production, the break down of an A-component may cause long term break down of the whole plant due to poor accessibility during harsh weather periods in winter.
The major driver for SHM applications to well known plants is to achieve increased safety, sustainability and economics; i.e. development of plants, which are both cheaper in purchase and more reliable in operation.
Structural Health Monitoring
Structural Health Monitoring enables the specialists to calculate the status of material fatigue at any time, based on measurements of the real stress history of the structure. Based on this, predictions on the remaining fatigue life can be computed, which are much more reliable because the effects of the real loads are taken into account rather than the statistical models used for the design.
On this basis, predictions on the remaining fatigue life can be computed. Thus, SHM is able to support decisions e.g. on the most suitable time to replace components as well as predictions of safety issues, environmental risks and economical outlook when questions on life time extensions are raised for elder plants. When reliable measurements of the accumulated fatigue can be made, structures can be designed with smaller safety margins but increased safety level, improved environmental friendliness and higher economics.
The project partners FH Kiel, SDU and FuE have committed themselves to establish a test center for fatigue. The testcenter is unique in the German-Danish Interreg program region. It is to support regional companies and will provide theoretical knowledge, latest measurement abilities for the analysis of vibrations, experimental fatigue tests and numerical computations.
SDU is in charge of vibration analysis and FH Kiel for fatigue strength. FEA computations are provided by both partners. FuE offers the research platform FINO3 for disposal for the research.
RELIABLES Offshore project council
A RELIABLES Offshore project council was founded, which consists of representatives from interested companies, research institutions and associations. They meet regularly with the project partners FH Kiel, SDU, FuE to receive new results, exchange opinions, present and discuss their requirements for a successful application of SHM.
Read more on this link to project webside
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The project RELIABLES Offshore was started on 1.7.2016 and will last 3 years.