Wind turbines

Kai Tai Wang, Siemens Mechanical Drive Systems (Tianjin) Co., Ltd.

Background

Following the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, there has been an increasing demand and new opportunities for wind energy, a safe and reliable renewable energy resource. Wind farms are usually scattered throughout remote regions, making them difficult to reach so remote Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) are used to monitor the operating conditions of the wind turbine’s key components, for example, the gearbox. The Chinese standard, NB/T 31004—2011 “Guidelines for vibration condition monitoring and diagnose of wind turbine generator” promulgated and implemented in 2011, is rapidly being accepted by the industry – in fact, the installation of a CMS is a prerequisite for commercial insurance cover for wind turbines.

Challenges

As a wind turbine gearbox manufacturer, we at Siemens often need to analyze and solve machine manufacturers’ and owners’ noise and vibration gearbox problems. However, the CMS for wind turbine generator systems have poor compatibility, for example, inconsistent data formats, incompatible software and inconsistent analysis methods, making troubleshooting difficult and decreasing the accuracy of analysis, thus leading to different conclusions. After sales service staff and test engineers usually have to climb up to the wind turbine nacelle carrying tens of kilograms of portable vibration analysis instrumentation and wait until the wind turbine reaches a certain rotating speed and power, putting them at huge risk. They also have to endure ambient noise up to 120dBA, high temperatures and the freezing cold. Because of these risks, such operations are becoming increasingly unpopular, and safer, more convenient solutions are urgently needed.

Solution

According to our requirements, Brüel & Kjær Senior Application Engineer, Yin Xueyan, proposed a customized, innovative and portable LAN-XI system solution consisting of:

  1. Type 3053-B-120 12‐ch. Input Module LAN‐XI 25.6 kHz – for data acquisition, recording and CCLD power supply for transducers
  2. Type 2831-A Li-lon battery module, providing 8 hours of continuous battery power for input module
  3. Notar™ BZ-7848-A stand-alone recorder license – to set up recording parameters, to start and stop the recording remotely via LAN or WiFi from any PC or smartphone 
  4. Type 4189-A-021 free-field TEDS microphone – to measure cabin noise 
  5. 9 × 4514-B-001 accelerometers – to measure vibration of 9 DOFs on high speed, intermediate level and low speed gearboxesCCLD Laser Tacho Probe
  6. Type 2981 – to measure rotational speed of high speed shaft with RPM ranging from 1200 to 1800
  7. DC signal converter boxes – to convert the power signal from 4 – 20mA to 0 – 10V DC
  8. PULSE Time Type 7789 software – to import the WAV format data recorded by BZ-7848, to perform FFT, CPB and envelope analysis, to upload the UFF file results to the central SQL server and to manage and retrieve the results using Siemens’ post-processing software
  9. PULSE Reflex Core software – to import time data for quick overview, play back gearbox signals for checking, to perform FFT vs RPM analysis and CPB analysis with batch processing

PULSE Reflex post-processing software

Conclusions

  • Fast, easy and safe set-up measurement system:
    • After a transducer has been mounted during downtime, on-site service staff can stay away from the nacelle. This guarantees the safety of staff and reduces downtime effectively
    • AN-XI system, connecting to LAN, can be controlled remotely without frequent downtime and going in and out of the nacelle
    • A variety of data can be shared (power, rotational speed, wind speed, etc.) via LAN connecting with the LAN switch in the nacelle
  • Lightweight – total weight is less than 2kg
  • Completely self-contained – data acquisition module powered by battery module, which then supplies CCLD power to laser tachometer, microphone and accelerometers. Automatically detects TEDS information during start-up, without artificially input of information such as transducer sensitivity
  • No special training necessary for service staff. Not necessary for service staff to master specialized signal processing and acquisition knowledge. All they need to do is to press start and stop buttons to record via any web browser. Download of data and post-processing are done by a PULSE specialist in the office
  • A variety of data recording modes – can control all kinds of data recording (acquisition settings, micro SD card and data download) using “black box” function and remote control through LAN server in wind turbine nacelle
  • We hope that Brüel & Kjær can develop even more powerful functionality for both the hardware and Reflex Core software platform, such as envelope analysis. Getting more of the existing LabShop functionality into PULSE Reflex will help us to even further improve efficiency

LAN-XI data acquisition hardware

 

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