Cointegration for Detecting Structural Blade Damage in an Operating Wind Turbine: An Experimental Study

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Environmental and operational variabilities (EOVs) are known to pose an issue in structural health monitoring (SHM) systems, as these variabilities can mask the effect of structural damage. Numerous approaches to remove, or, at least, mitigate, the effect of EOVs in SHM applications have been proposed and tested through numerical simulations and in experimental studies. One of the approaches that has exhibited promising potential is cointegration, which, in this particular SHM context, is a technique for singling out and removing common signal trends stemming from the EOVs. In the present paper, the cointegration technique is employed to mitigate the effect of certain EOVs in an experimental, vibration-based damage detection analysis of a wind turbine blade under operating conditions. In the experimental campaign, the installed SHM system was recording blade accelerations and different environmental and operational conditions over a 3.5-month period. In the period, one of the blades was treated in its reference state and in damaged states with a trailing edge opening of increasing size. Based on the available data from these different structural states, it is demonstrated how cointegration can be used to successfully detect the introduced damages under conditions not allowing for direct discrimination between damage and EOVs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDynamics of Civil Structures, Volume 2 - Proceedings of the 37th IMAC, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics, 2019
EditorsShamim Pakzad
Place of PublicationFlorida, Orlando
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-12114-3
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-12115-0
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventIMAC XXXVII, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2019 - Rosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando, FL., Orlando , United States
Duration: 28 Jan 201931 Jan 2019
Conference number: 37


ConferenceIMAC XXXVII, A Conference and Exposition on Structural Dynamics 2019
LocationRosen Plaza Hotel, Orlando, FL.
CountryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesConference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series


  • Cointegration
  • Damage detection
  • Environmental and operational variabilities
  • Structural health monitoring
  • Wind turbine application

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