Self-sensing wind turbine composite blades for structural health monitoring (SMARTBLADE)

Lead Participant: Ilika Technologies Ltd


Wind energy is one of the leading renewable sources to replace fossil fuel in order to tackle the environmental and climate crisis challenges that the world is facing. China and the UK together contribute to ~40% of the world's ~500 GW wind power capacity. However, the ever-increasing operation and maintenance (O&M) cost has become a critical constraint for the sustainability of wind energy growth - global cost estimated to reach US$17bn pa by 2020.The primary objective of this project is to develop an integrated smart composite to be incorporated into the wind turbine blades. The smart composite will be able to perform autonomous structural health monitoring of the blades, to detect the early signs of damage and enable predictability in maintenance scheduling and prevent the icing of the blades, to ensure operational efficiency, whilst also self-sustaining the power supply of these functionalities without need for battery replacement.The composite will be integrated with various types of macro fibre piezoelectric composite transducers used as vibration sensors and energy harvesters, micro-fabricated solid-state batteries and printed electronics. This will open up new technological possibilities in the design, manufacturing and operation of wind turbine blades to improve their operation.

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Ilika Technologies Ltd, Science Park Chilworth, £349,989 £ 244,992


University of Chester, United Kingdom £187,140 £ 149,712


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