Structural Health Monitoring for Asset Management: Presentation of Monitoring Results

Jens Krieger 1, Simon Tewolde1 ,2
1airwerk GmbH, Emstek, Germany, 2Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany


In Europe, the first generation of offshore wind farms have already been constructed and are now in an operational phase. One major goal of the industry today is to reduce the costs of operation and maintenance.

Structural health monitoring systems help reduce inspection costs by allowing the wind farm operator to effectively focus his inspection resources on structures with a potential damage indication. Additionally, life cycle monitoring allows for lifetime extension of wind turbine generators after their planned service life.

Today, nearly all recently built offshore wind farms are equipped with a monitoring system. This reflects a trend through many industries worldwide to use monitoring systems as an asset management tool.


In this paper we present data from current offshore monitoring campaigns and their use in asset management.


Different monitoring strategies for offshore structures are shown and examples of the implementation of structural health monitoring systems in other industries given. Traditionally, monitoring is mainly used as feedback for the structural engineers. In this paper we additionally focus on the use of monitoring systems as an asset management tool.


Example of real life implementations in the European offshore wind industry are presented and data, data evalation methods and results are shown.


The ISO standards series defines risk as the basis of all decision making or ISO 31000 as the basis of all management standards. This reflects the worldwide trend to redefine management tools in the last decades.

Risk-based management strategies are predestined to be complemented by monitoring systems. Risk is defined as ‘the effect of uncertainty on objectives’ and structural health monitoring systems are designed to provide data to reduce uncertainties.


Available structural health monitoring tools derived and proven in other industries may be transferred to the offshore wind industry. However, many of these tools need to be adapted to the specifics of offshore structures.


The full potential of structural health monitoring as an asset management tool to reduce operational costs is not yet realized in current offshore wind farm projects. In the coming years the industry needs to focus on implementing risk-based asset management strategies as seen in other industries.


-          Risk-based asset management concepts

-          Structural health monitoring tools in different industries

-          Monitoring strategies for offshore wind structures

-          Data and experience from current offshore monitoring campaigns


-          Outlook for the next years