Wind farm monitoring

Wind farm monitoring

An investment that pays off

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Squalls, lightning strikes, ice build-up and more – wind turbines and their blades are exposed at all times to the forces of nature. If damage isn’t identified quickly, high costs can result. Permanent monitoring with BLADEcontrol® provides protection against these risks as shown by a wind farm in the Lusatia region on Germany’s eastern borders.

A purely visual inspection is not sufficient to identify any issues with the rotor blades early enough and to avoid costly operational downtime. That is why the experts at Denker & Wulf AG, who are responsible for the technical oversight of the wind farm located to the south of Berlin, are very appreciative of the deployment of BLADEcontrol®. The Condition Monitoring system from Weidmüller continuously measures and analyses the rotor blade vibrations on 24 wind turbines. Other data and parameters, such as wind speed or the corresponding pitch angle of the rotor blades, are also used in the calculations. “Overall, this allows us to determine under what operating conditions a deviation occurs and to take steps to minimise possible causes ahead of time,” explains Joachim Fröhlich from Denker & Wulf AG. Because, in addition to damage to the rotor blades themselves, BLADEcontrol® can also detect aerodynamic imbalances, loose parts in the blade and hub as well as misalignments of the pitch.

The BLADEcontrol® hardware consists of acceleration sensors as well as measurement and evaluation computers that can easily be retrofitted into existing installations
The BLADEcontrol® hardware consists of acceleration sensors as well as measurement and evaluation computers that can easily be retrofitted into existing installations

Efficient planning of service deployments

According to Fröhlich, the permanent detective work pays for itself through higher operational security resulting in improved profitability for the wind farm. Of particular benefit is the monitoring of areas where it is not easy or not possible to make visual checks. These include fine cracks inside the rotor blade and damage to the wood between the hub and the rotor blade, caused by damp. Service deployments can be planned more efficiently and with more foresight.

Further advantages include the lengthening of the service life of the rotor blades. That is a particular plus point at this wind farm as the rotor blades that are used here are no longer produced. Therefore in the case of irreparable damage, the complete turbine would have to be replaced.

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Rotor blade monitoring with BLADEcontrol®

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