Tests of Ramboll’s ‘True Digital Twin’ technology on the Wikinger offshore windfarm have demonstrated "significant potential" to increase the lifetime of foundations
The tests were undertaken as part of the ROMEO project, an initiative supported by the Horizon 2020 EU research programme.
Ramboll said the digital twin tests, which were based on a measurement campaign using structural health monitoring, revealed there is significant potential to extend the lifetime of foundations for wind turbines and offshore substations.
Ramboll lead consultant asset management wind Ursula Smolka said, “Our goal is to demonstrate the feasibility and impact of data-driven operations and maintenance strategies, using the True Digital Twin to deliver insight on condition of assets. The results from this pilot test are stunning, revealing significant potential for lifetime extension and cost reduction.”
The results of the tests have been summarised in two reports Ramboll has delivered to its ROMEO project partners. According to the reports, the power of a True Digital Twin lies in its ability to continuously monitor the structural integrity of a wind turbine over its lifetime. The monitoring is undertaken using structural health monitoring, cloud computing and advanced mathematical calculations.
Based on only a few sensors at easily accessed locations, the True Digital Twin can record the loads on structures. It can detect structural integrity issues such as the failure of jacket braces, excessive scour or corrosion.
Extensive simulation demonstrated that monitoring can not only can detect anomalies but can also identify the type of anomaly if combined with a design model database.
In the next phases of the ROMEO project, Ramboll and its partners will continue exploring the added value of continuously monitoring offshore wind structures. The project partners anticipate a reduction of time spent offshore for annual inspections and a reduction in the number of planned offshore visits.
Iberdrola Renewables offshore asset integrity manager Mark Paine said, “The benefits of the True Digital Twin are very clear to us. This pilot test has reinforced our initial expectations.
“Ramboll has made great progress in the ROMEO project and we look forward to collaborating with them during the next phases of the project where we will look at True Digital Twin’s potential to reduce the need for human intervention and the number of visits required offshore.”
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