Key words:Tags: GE, Innovation, Blade
The wind power giant GE revealed that it is developing smart blade sensor technology to help the next generation of wind turbine technology.
The project is led by Chief Engineer Nancy Stoffel of GE Research in the United States. The project team members span multiple disciplines, including industry experts from the fields of composite material manufacturing, sensors, electronics, and materials science, as well as academic representatives.
The GE project team plans to develop a new type of flexible sensor that can be embedded in the composite layer of the wind blade, so as to collect key data related to the strength and flexibility of the blade during the production of the blade, and realize the parts and components of the wind blade. The whole-process state monitoring from factory to site, through the analysis and research of monitoring data, achieves the goal of optimizing the cost of wind turbines.
The core technical difficulty of the whole project is the need to design a sensor that can work safely and reliably in the component without affecting the performance of the blade itself. Compared with the traditional sensor, this new sensor design is a new challenge. According to GE Research The center will be developed in cooperation with NextFlex of the United States.
NextFlex is a consortium of companies, academic institutions, non-profit organizations, and governments. It was established after the U.S. Department of Defense and the FlexTech Alliance reached a cooperation agreement in 2015. The goal is to promote the development of flexible hybrid electronics (FHE) in the United States. FHE refers to the creation of some scalable smart products by adding electronic products to new materials that are indispensable in our daily lives, coupled with the functions of silicon ICs, which will help realize an era of "everything electronic products".
The development of this new type of sensor is very important for the fast-growing offshore wind power, helping to reduce the investment and operation and maintenance costs of offshore facilities.
As Shridhar Nath, who is responsible for researching the rotor blade smart sensor project, said: "In the factory, embedded sensors will provide manufacturers with more valuable data points, which can avoid increasing investment for unnecessary process improvements and improve parts. When applied to the site, these sensors can provide a continuous blade condition monitoring data, which will help wind power projects to formulate more effective operation and maintenance plans, thereby improving power generation efficiency and reducing operation and maintenance costs.