Femtosecond laser-inscribed fiber Bragg gratings for strain monitoring in power cables of offshore wind turbines.
ABSTRACT A fiber Bragg grating sensor system used for monitoring the effects of strain on the power cable of an offshore wind turbine is presented. The Bragg grating structure was inscribed into coated nonphotosensitive standard telecommunication fibers using an IR femtosecond laser and the point-by-point writing technique. Because of the presence of the protective coating of the fiber, the mechanical stability of the resultant sensor device is better than that of a sensor consisting of a bare fiber. A system containing this sensing element was to our knowledge for the first time successfully installed and tested in an offshore wind turbine prototype (REpower 6M, REpower Systems, AG, Germany) in February 2010, near Ellhöft (Germany). The fabrication process of the fiber Bragg gratings, measurement results of the online monitoring, and a comparison between the sensor signal and commonly used sensing techniques are presented.