The OWI-lab

Within the OWI-project we invested in a 'multi-purpose monitoring system' to support dedicated R&D projects in the field. It can be used to monitor certain parameters on existing offshore windturbines for a long time periode, but the system can also be used to measure relative short events during testing.

OWI-Lab ( accomodates this monitoring infrastructure to companies and knowledge centra to support R&D projects. The system itself can be operated remotely if implemented in a turbine, and stores data on a server installed onshore. 

© OWI-Lab

We focus on three applications in the field of measurement and monitoring campaigns:    

1. Structural Health Monitoring (SHM)

Structural health monitoring involves damage detection and characterization of engineering structures (offshore foundations and structures in this case) through the observation of the system over time using sampled dynamic response measurements from an array of sensors. Damage in this context can be a change in material and/or geometric properties of the structural system (i.e. damage to scour protection, damage to structure connectivity).  

The multi-purpose monitoring system contains hardware and software to support structural vibration measurements in the field of SHM. Next to the data-acquisition OWI-Lab invested in accelerometers (MEMS) to support low frequency vibration measurements (range 0-1000Hz). Together with VUB (OWI partner: Vrije Universiteit Brussel) we are perfoming a long-term structural health monitoring campaign on the foundation and tower of an offshore wind turbine.    

2. Machine Condition Monitoring (MCM)

Next to SHM the system can also support condition monitoring tasks on wind turbine machinery (i.e. drivetrain components). Different parameters can be monitored over long time periods (acceleration, strain, temperature, pressure,...). The system can be used to generate component datasets for R&D purpose, and can be used to validate predictive maintenance algorithms by implementing them into the FPGA (field-programmable gate array) controller.  

3. Dedicated measurement campaigns

The purchased monitoring hardware and software can also be used for dedicated R&D measurements in the field. A first reference and example of such a measurement campaign is the determination of the damping value of a monopile structure for North Wind NV. The OWI-Lab monitoring systems and sensors were used to determine the damping value of an existing wind turbine structure. Post-processing of the captured data was done by VUB through specialised modal analysis techniques. Also dedicated measurements on drivetrain components can be supported by the purchased monitoring infrastructure.  

© OWI-Lab