This paper will explore the current state of the art in Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) concepts and instrumentation for evaluating the structural behavior of cooling towers. The process of SHM project planning, sensor selection, remote and wireless sensing technology, data collection and acquisition systems to capture specific behaviors will be addressed in simplified and usable terms. Sensor technologies will also be discussed including inclinometers, accelerometers, strain gages, anemometers and thermocouples. Case studies of SHM executed successfully on different types of structures will be provided along with an instrumentation plan for a cooling tower structure as well. SHM has a tremendous potential in cooling tower structures to economically address restoration and maintenance challenges facing engineers, facilities personnel and owners.

18-05: A Case for Structural Health Monitoring for Cooling Towers

  • Mark E. Williams, Ph.D., P.E., Narendra Gosain, Ph.D., P.E. and Matthew Pavelchak, P.E., Walter P Moore and Associates