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Mads Knude Hovgaard

Temporary Lecturer

Mads Knude Hovgaard


Project title: Incorporating Structural Health Monitoring in the design of slip formed concrete wind turbine towers

PhD student: Mads Knude Hovgaard

Project period: 01/02-2012 to 01/02-2015

Main supervisor: Prof. Rune Brincker

Co-supervisor: Jens Christian Kirk (Rambøll)

Research section: Civil and Architectural Engineering


Project description:

For decades, the prevailing material for very tall chimneys for power plants has been concrete. Combined, Rambøll and MT Højgaard have been involved in all phases of the construction of the very highest in Denmark.


Most modern wind turbine towers are tubular steel towers and until now the high labour costs have tipped the scale in favour of steel towers. But as technology advances rapidly towards larger turbines, it is only natural to assume that concrete will be the new first choice for multi MW designs, as it did for chimneys. For this scale of structures, the mechanical properties of concrete can be superior to those of steel if the experiences and know-how from concrete chimney construction are applied throughout the project.


Structural health monitoring (SHM) is the perpetual process of monitoring the structures’ integrity. By equipping SHM to a civil structure, the owner is provided with decision support. So far, for the structures that have been equipped with SHM, the value in terms of total life-cycle benefits has rarely been estimated. By associating a risk optimised decision policy, the SHM effort can be optimised and the initial target safety of the structure may be recalibrated upfront. In some cases, this translates into reductions on the Partial Safety Factors, leading to reductions on initial cost.


This project implements the risk based SHM system design, which is a research heavy topic, on the development of cast concrete wind turbine towers for multi MW turbines.


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ID: 44228848