California Energy Commission Offshore Wind Turbine Monitoring Project

Researchers: Linqing Luo, Yuxin Wu (LBNL) Peter HubbardJames Xu, Jaewon Saw, Matthew Dejong, Kenichi Soga (UC Berkeley)

Client/Owner: California Energy Commission

Technologies: Distributed Strain, Temperature and Acoustic Sensing

UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory researchers have been funded by the California Energy Commission to research how distributed fiber optic sensing (DFOS) can monitor the offshore wind turbines of the future. In addition, DFOS is being evaluated to for its ability to observe marine mammal activity in the vicinity of future offshore wind developments. A specimen wind turbine has been procured from University of California, San Diego to undergo a series of lab tests in 2022. The tests will evaluate the suitability of DFOS for monitoring the tower and gearbox remotely and will utilize the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center’s (PEER) large 3D shake table.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) has collaborated with the UCB and LBNL researched for using DFOS to monitor mammal activities. A 50km long ocean floor fiber optic cable in Monterey Bay was used for distributed acoustic sensing (DAS). The acoustic signals acquired over a one week period are being analyzed to detect whale activity in the vicinity by comparing with MBARI’s deployed vector hydrophone array. Researchers have developed algorithms for detecting and extracting whale vocalizations from the distributed acoustic sensing data.