Oil debris monitoring saves time in wind turbine gearbox maintenance

In the past 20 years, there has been a large amount of literature on the challenge of premature gearbox failure and its impact on the cost of wind turbine operation. Although the principles of prediction and health management (PHM) have been established, and the goal of replacing unplanned failure events with planned maintenance based on early signs of degradation has not changed, the wind energy industry and sensor technology continue to develop value propositions in a steadily increasing manner.

As the world accepts the need to shift our energy dependence to renewable energy, the demand for wind energy is driving the development of larger turbines and a significant increase in offshore wind farms. The main cost avoidance goals associated with PHM or condition-based maintenance (CBM) are related to business interruption, inspection and repair costs, and downtime penalties. The larger the turbine and the harder it is to reach, the higher the costs and complexity associated with inspection and maintenance. Minor or catastrophic failure events that cannot be resolved on-site are more related to taller, harder-to-reach, and heavier components. In addition, with more reliance on wind energy as the primary energy source, the cost of downtime fines may continue to increase.

Since the early 2000s, as the industry pushes the production boundaries of each turbine, the height and rotor diameter of wind turbines have easily doubled. With the emergence of offshore wind energy as the main energy source, the scale will continue to increase maintenance challenges. In 2019, General Electric installed a prototype Haliade-X turbine in the Port of Rotterdam. The wind turbine is 260 m (853 ft) high and the rotor diameter is 220 m (721 ft). Vestas plans to install a V236-15MW offshore prototype at the Østerild National Large Wind Turbine Test Center in West Jutland, Denmark in the second half of 2022. The wind turbines are 280 m (918 feet) high and are expected to produce 80 GWh a year, enough to power nearly 20,000

Post time: Dec-06-2021