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Windtech International July August 2024 issue






The WILLOW consortium, comprising 12 project partners, met on 7-8 May 2024 in Höchberg, Germany, to review progress since the project's start in October 2023. WILLOW seeks to create an integrated system for offshore wind farms, focusing on health monitoring and smart power dispatch.

The project aims to balance power production with turbine lifespan by using physical and data-driven models, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, to optimise decision-making and maintenance planning. With a €5.8 million budget from the Horizon Europe programme, WILLOW targets a 50% reduction in inspection costs, a five-year extension of wind farm lifespans, a 4% noise reduction, and up to a 10% decrease in the levelised cost of energy.

WILLOW aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Development of a global structural health monitoring (SHM) based on loads, accelerations, images, and thickness losses, considering fatigue progression, pitting corrosion and coating degradation by using physical and virtual sensors combined with Machine Learning (ML) techniques.
  2. Development of prognosis tools by combining SCADA and SHM data, using physical models and ML methods to predict the consumed lifetime and the remaining useful life.
  3. Development of a decision-making support tool for smart power dispatch in curtailed conditions and O&M scheduling.

Key participants include Ceit, Alerion, Basque Energy Cluster, and others from Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, and Germany. The project uses data from the Norther Offshore Wind Farm and other test facilities.

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