Danes Develop Non-Electric Defective Blade Detector

The Lyngby-based start-up CEKO Sensors Asp is launching an optical accelerometer which could detect early signs of malfunctions in blades and potentially lead to reduced O&M costs, according to the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

The sensor can withstand extreme environments, and it contains no electrical components, which makes it ideal for the wind turbine market, DTU said.

The sensor, basically an optical microchip, can be mounted on wind turbine blades and detect, among other things, small changes in vibration patterns, which may be early signs of a defective blade.

Image source: DTU
Image source: DTU

An ordinary electric sensor cannot be used on wind turbine blades, as it can cause lightning strikes which will destroy the sensor and probably also damage the blade, according to DTU.

For wind turbine manufacturers, equipping their turbines with a sensor that can help to predict when an offshore wind turbine needs service, for example, is a huge advantage, as this is an extremely expensive procedure.

The sensor is based on research and two patents from DTU Nanotech.

In the spring of 2015, Syddansk Teknologisk Innovation invested in CEKO Sensors, which is now based at DTU’s science park Scion DTU in Lyngby—close to DTU’s research environments and to the micro and nano manufacturing facilities in DTU Danchip, where the sensor is now in production.

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