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Environmental footprint of structure monitoring

Technological challenge: Cyber security : hardware and sofware (learn more)

Department: Département Imagerie Simulation pour le Contrôle (LIST)

Laboratory: Laboratoire Méthodes CND

Start Date: 01-10-2022

Location: Saclay

CEA Code: SL-DRT-22-0667

Contact: olivier.mesnil@cea.fr

The health of structures (wind turbines, bridges, power plants, aircraft, etc.) is essential to their operation and safety. This is why maintenance operations include regular inspections, leading to repairs or replacements. These operations have a cost, not only economical, but also environmental. Indeed, it is estimated that 6 to 20% of the carbon footprint of a wind turbine is related to its maintenance and routine operations [1]. The objective of this thesis is to propose a methodology aiming at minimising the environmental footprint of inspection procedures, based on non-destructive testing (NDT) and new advances in structural health monitoring (SHM). NDT consists of punctual and manual controls (e.g. every year) of the health of a component, while SHM consists of permanently integrating sensors on the component to monitor its health (e.g. every day). Preliminary work has led to the quantification of the environmental impact of an SHM system (sensors, electronics, power consumption, etc.) and has shown that its use could have either a positive or negative environmental impact, depending on the application. Indeed, SHM could reduce the environmental impact of the instrumented structure via 1) the reduction of punctual maintenance operations, 2) a reduction of the structure's unavailability, 3) a potential increase in its lifespan and 4) the reduction of incidents and accidents. However, the environmental impact must be compared to the potential gains for each application. The first action of this thesis will be the enrichment of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology to take into account the individualised monitoring of structures. Indeed, LCA is an approach considering the nominal life cycle of a structure, which will be individualised in a probabilistic way, to quantify the environmental impacts including inspections and repairs. This methodology will allow the consideration of the effect of NDT and SHM over the life cycle of the structure. The second action will exploit this augmented LCA to minimise the environmental footprint of a given structure through various inspection and instrumentation scenarios. A procedure to ensure the health of each individual structure will then be established, thus proposing an optimal NDT or SHM solution for one or more components of the structure.

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