Physical Acoustics supplies wind blade monitoring systems

Physical Acoustics Corp. has supplied PCI-8 Multi-channel Acoustic Emission Systems to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and to Sandia National Labs.

Physical Acoustics Corp. (PAC, Princeton, N.J.), a part of MISTRAS Group Inc., says it has supplied PCI-8 Multi-channel Acoustic Emission Systems to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Boulder, Colo.) and to Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, N.M.) for remote wind blade monitoring.

The PCI-8 AE System uses multiple sensors or channels to detect acoustic emission (AE) waveforms and features, using AEwin Windows software. This system will be used for static fatigue testing of wind turbine blades.

The purchase of the PCI-8 System permits enhanced stress correlation in conjunction with other external sensor inputs. This reportedly gives a better understanding of how composites behave under loads. In addition, the PAC AEViewer software package, provided to Sandia, allows scientists to remotely monitor and control their AE system.

With wind power becoming a growing source of energy in the world, the need to understand reliability and performance characteristics of wind turbine blades has taken on a greater urgency. "Power utilities across the country are starting to tap high power output wind turbines for use in their wind farms,"said Carlton Gonsalves, AE sales manager for PAC. "The review of our AE System will give the research labs a more thorough understanding of wind turbine performance characteristics, which will allow them to implement and design better and stronger wind turbine blades.”