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CONDITION MONITORING


FEATURE SPONSOR


IMPROVING RELIABILITY AND REDUCING OPERATING COSTS


Renewables are increasingly vital to the UK’s energy mix as the country decarbonises and moves away from coal


With offshore wind supplying the equivalent of 97% of London, Birmingham and Manchester’s domestic electricity requirements last year and with more than 30% of the total electricity generated on Christmas Day supplied by wind power it is no surprise that turbines are very much in the spotlight.


Making sure that wind turbines are working at optimum levels at all times, however, is a continual focus for operators. Implementing a remote condition monitoring system is one way that enables any potential maintenance problems to be identified quickly.


A PROACTIVE APPROACH TO MAINTENANCE


Remote condition monitoring allows operators to take a proactive approach to maintenance which improves reliability and reduces operating costs. A system such as the SKF WindCon remote monitoring solution collects mechanical data via vibration and temperature sensors mounted on the turbine’s main shaft bearings, drive train gearbox and generator. The data is then analysed and issues such as unbalanced propeller blades, misalignment, shaft deflections, gear damage, tower vibrations and electrical problems, etc, can be highlighted via real-time performance updates.


The monitoring data can then be uploaded via Internet connections to remotely located diagnostics centres, operating globally 24/7, for expert analysis and reporting, as well as used by local operators.


REAL-TIME CONDITION- BASED MONITORING By logging and tracking deteriorating component conditions in real-time


condition-based monitoring allows maintenance decisions to be based on actual machine conditions, rather than arbitrary maintenance schedules.


A case in point is a UK windfarm that installed SKF WindCon. The farm was able to postpone a planned gearbox replacement as the system was able to not only register the gearbox’s damage when first installed, but determine that it was stable enough to postpone the replacement until a rapid increase in the damage pattern almost a year later. The postponement enabled the windfarm to accrue interest on the money needed for the overhaul, almost earning enough to pay for the installation.


Along with the possibility that maintenance intervals can be extended,


a condition monitoring system provides a powerful tool for managing day-to-day maintenance routines and consolidating high risk costly maintenance activities.


David McGaughey Key Account Manager SKF


WEBSITE


WINDCOM CONDITIONING MONITORING


64


www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


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