Wind Turbine Monitoring System
Wind is a clean and renewable power source. Today, the most popular solution of wind power generation in the world is based on wind turbines. Close monitoring of these turbines is an absolute necessity to ensure safe operations. A wind turbine monitoring system is responsible for monitoring the tower, blades, shaft, gear box, generator and overall conditions in the generator compartment. This involves a variety of sensors such as accelerometers, encoders, temperature sensors, oil/liquid level sensors, particle counter, voltage, current and humidity sensors etc.
Accelerometers are used to monitor vibration from main bearing, gear box, generator, blades and tower for the purpose of preventing damage arose by destructive vibration. Temperature sensors detect the temperature of generator and gear box to ensure equipments are working within a safe temperature range. Encoder is mounted on generator’s main bearing to monitor the rotating speed of the turbine. The monitoring of lubricant needs oil temperature sensor, particle counter sensor and oil level sensor to work together in gathering the temperature, quality and liquid level information of the lubricant so that unwanted conditions in gear box and turbine such as lubricant shortage, low-quality and overheated lubricant could be diagnosed before any damage. Voltage and current sensors are used to monitor generator’s output power as an output power higher than a certain threshold tends to damage the generator. Temperature and humidity sensors installed in generator compartment are used to monitor environmental conditions in compartment so as to protect parts from being damaged by inappropriate temperature and humidity.In addition to various sensors, a wind turbine monitoring system has a signal processing unit and a communication interface. Signal processing unit is mostly a high-performance microprocessor or DSP, responsible for analyzing and processing data that is collected by sensors. This is then transmitted through a wireless network (e.g. Zigbee®) for data logging and telemetric purposes