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Sensors 2017, 17(12), 2928;

Wireless Concrete Strength Monitoring of Wind Turbine Foundations

Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK
Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 28 November 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sensors and Sensor Networks for Structural Health Monitoring)
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Wind turbine foundations are typically cast in place, leaving the concrete to mature under environmental conditions that vary in time and space. As a result, there is uncertainty around the concrete’s initial performance, and this can encourage both costly over-design and inaccurate prognoses of structural health. Here, we demonstrate the field application of a dense, wireless thermocouple network to monitor the strength development of an onshore, reinforced-concrete wind turbine foundation. Up-to-date methods in fly ash concrete strength and maturity modelling are used to estimate the distribution and evolution of foundation strength over 29 days of curing. Strength estimates are verified by core samples, extracted from the foundation base. In addition, an artificial neural network, trained using temperature data, is exploited to demonstrate that distributed concrete strengths can be estimated for foundations using only sparse thermocouple data. Our techniques provide a practical alternative to computational models, and could assist site operators in making more informed decisions about foundation design, construction, operation and maintenance. View Full-Text
Keywords: concrete maturity; wireless sensing; neural networks; structural health monitoring; foundation design concrete maturity; wireless sensing; neural networks; structural health monitoring; foundation design

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Perry, M.; Fusiek, G.; Niewczas, P.; Rubert, T.; McAlorum, J. Wireless Concrete Strength Monitoring of Wind Turbine Foundations. Sensors 2017, 17, 2928.

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