Friday, July 9, 2010

Wind turbine monitoring

Bently Nevada™ ADAPT™.wind condition-based monitoring decreases downtime, reduces cost, and improves reliability

With a massive fleet of wind turbines coming off warranty and an anticipated installed-base growth of 475% over the next 5 years, companies are adopting condition-based maintenance (CBM) strategies to decrease down time, reduce cost, and improve reliability. CBM in wind turbines, like in combustion and steam turbines and generators, is the process of monitoring the condition of machinery, scheduling maintenance, and avoiding failures. This solution already has over 700 units in the order and installation process.

Wind farms are exposed to some unique challenges. Change of wind speeds, load conditions, and environmental conditions all contribute to the complexity of operating wind turbines. In addition, wind farms are spread out over acres or even across miles, and the gearboxes are located several hundred feet into the air. This makes it difficult for a technician to predict or diagnose an issue with the turbine. Advanced condition monitoring techniques and experience are critical to reliably monitor the wind asset.

One integrated condition-based monitoring system, Bently Nevada™ Advanced Distributed Architecture Platform Technology (ADAPT™.wind) from GE, enables operators to understand the condition of the asset without having to physically examine the machinery. By utilizing the intelligence of the system, operators can understand the severity of the defect, make corrections, and continue to generate revenue if the defect is insignificant.

ADAPT.wind CBM also allows operators to plan for maintenance, coordinate outages for closely clustered units, and proactively monitor units with anomalies, instead of running to failure or tripping the unit on an anomaly. Being able to understand the condition and health of the wind farm’s machinery, an operator can consolidate maintenance for one time and schedule one crane, realizing hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.

The ADAPT.wind software is the standard condition monitoring solution on GE’s wind turbine units and can be readily deployed on most manufacturers’ equipment.

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