Offshore wind turbines

Offshore wind turbines are subjected to severe loads from wind, waves and saline water.

Source: BAM

At the 2017 Hanover Messe, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM) will be demonstrating how offshore wind turbines can be continuously operated safely. The project "Service life extension and service loading fatigue of wind turbines" (LeBeWind) is an example of BAM's multi-faced research in the ‘Energy’ focus area.

Offshore wind farms represent an important strategic pillar of energy transition. Thanks to their high capacity utilisation, they work more efficiently than wind turbines on land. However, offshore wind turbines are subjected to severe loads from wind, waves and saline water. To ensure their economic operation, it is crucial to minimise maintenance and repair costs. BAM is therefore investigating possible damage to offshore wind turbines and suitable repair concepts in the LeBeWind project.

“The investigations are focussed on methods for reliable detection, localisation and evaluation of damage with the aim of extending service loading fatigue onset and the active life of turbines”, explains LeBeWind Project Manager Dr.-Ing. Matthias Baeßler from BAM’s Buildings and Structures Division.

Rapid determination of maintenance and repair need

It is essential to urgently develop damage detection and repair concepts that are efficient at sea. To this end, BAM integrates competencies in structural engineering, materials engineering and materials science. For example, scientists are working on innovative methods such as thermography which can be used to determine maintenance and repair needs of rotor blades more efficiently.

Other subprojects are devoted to corrosion protection using coatings, the connection of steel pipes by special mortar, and service loading fatigue of the drive train. Cross-cutting topics are the condition survey and assessment and in particular, non-destructive testing as well as prevention of possible damage.
The industry will benefit from the LeBeWind project’s findings and the results will be integrated into consultation with authorities and in regulations.

BAM at the 2017 Hanover Fair

BAM’s stand in Research & Technology Hall 2 Stand A02 provides visitors with a broad insight into the LeBeWind project.

About BAM

BAM promotes safety in technology and chemistry.
As a BMWi departmental research institute, BAM performs research, testing and offers advisory support to protect people, the environment and material goods. Its activity in the fields of materials science, materials engineering and chemistry is focussed on the technical safety of products and processes. BAM’s research is directed towards substances, materials, building elements, components and facilities as well as natural and technical systems important for the national economy and relevant to society. It also tests and assesses their safe handling and operation. BAM develops and validates analysis procedures and assessment methods, models and necessary standards and provides science-based services for the German industry in a European and international framework.

Safety creates markets.
BAM sets and represents high standards for safety in technology and chemistry for Germany and its global markets to further develop the successful German quality culture "Made in Germany“.