Sensor-integrated Digital Twin for high-performance fibre composite applications

Project runtime: 01.02.2021 – 31.01.2024








Extending the service life of wind turbines using digital twins

Fibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) are used extensively to build load-bearing structures in wind turbines. Changing mechanical loads in these structures, such as rotor blades, can lead to a gradual change in the material - so-called fatigue - and endanger the functionality of the plants. After the boom of the last decades in the field of wind energy, only a few new capacities are currently being installed in Germany. At the same time, more and more turbines are reaching the end of their service life. With a total installed capacity of approx. 53 gigawatts in Germany at present, approx. 16 gigawatts of installed capacity will be facing the decision by 2025: Continue operating or take them off the grid? The SensoTwin research project aims to advance the investigation of the fatigue behaviour of FRP and to take into account virtual manufacturing defects and scattering of material properties. Structures for holding material data and, based on this, a software app for calculating the fatigue strength of FRP are being developed. These digital tools will make an urgently needed contribution to improving the recertification of existing wind turbines. In this way, for example, old plants can be operated beyond the service life calculated at the time of commissioning and, in light of the faltering addition of new plants, contribute to Germany achieving its climate targets.