Tower Oscillation Measurement Of Wind Turbines

Wind Asset Management

An Efficient Way To Monitor The Foundations Of Our Wind Turbine

Foundations are a significant element of the composition of a wind turbine. If degradation over time goes undetected, it can lead to significant financial losses.


Many wind turbines today have a control system that monitors various parameters of crucial parts, including the gearbox, generator, transformer, converters, and even the tower, to detect oscillations across the three spatial axes, but nothing is available at the strict foundation level.

Foundation Issues are typically not covered under the Operation and Maintenance Contract and are usually only discovered during visual inspections by the Asset Manager. Symptoms can be the accumulation of a dust layer or crumbling concrete in the cellar.

Given the criticality of this part of the wind turbine, there is room for asset owners to have more control over the evolution of its state.

Many turbines have a concrete seal that makes it difficult to detect any defects from the outside.

Greensolver recommends non-invasive monitoring that requires very few investments and provides a precise oscillation measurement at the foundation level.

Defective installation or rough wind conditions can weaken the foundation causing a depression between the virolla and concrete. Water infiltration can cause the “pumping effect”, resulting in foundation oscillation.

What Does Greensolver Recommend To Improve?

“Tower sway measurement” is a process that involves measuring the vertical movement between concrete and steel tower to detect any out-of-spec movement.

This measurement can be conducted not only after the appearance of a visual defect but also as a preventive measure. Moreover, the preventive measurement can serve as a benchmark to track the progress of your asset over time.

It consists of installing three digital oscillation sensors linked to an analysis software. The sensors will measure the vertical movement of the tower during a turbine stop. The tower will have sensors installed every 120 degrees. This helps detect its vertical movement, with the first sensor facing the prevailing wind.

We evaluate the vibrations from each sensor and compare them to their respective thresholds.

Furthermore, conducting measurements before the End of the Warranty inspection can also help prevent additional costs for foundation repairs by third-party experts.

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Written by Alexis Lemaire, Asset Manager