Monitoring of bolted flange connections
The bolted flanges that connect the rotor hub to the blades and the tower top to the nacelle play a vital role in the structural safety of wind turbines. Among several hundreds of bolts used in a wind turbine, blade bolts are special because they are part of the rotating system of the turbine. As such, the bolted flange must withstand cyclic, high magnitude loads caused by wind and gravity. The bolted structure of the tower segments and the tower top-nacelle connections are also flexible and deform under load, leading to fatigue failures. With larger blades and stronger winds in deeper waters, bolted flanges on offshore wind turbines are particularly exposed to harsh environment and higher risks.
How to implement
Not all bolts in a flange need to be replaced with SmartScrews, because the flange is monitored as a whole. We recommend 4 bolts per blade-hub flange connection and 8 bolts for the tower top-nacelle flange connection installed in symmetrical positions. One SmartBox can deal with all 20 channels. Rest assured that our SmartBox is flexible and robust enough to adapt to each type of wind turbine.
What you can do
Ideal for OEMs to better understand the machine’s dynamic behaviour during the prototype phase through in-field design verification tests.
Operation & Maintenance
Plan maintenance based on in-service loads of flange connections during normal operation, rather than solely on schedule.
Predict remaining useful life of the flange connection and its connecting parts, a requisite for lifetime extension assessments.