A new plug-in to Bachmann’s Condition Monitoring System provides plant operators with regular updates on the balance condition of their wind turbines’ blades and provides a measurement of unbalance without a lengthy and expensive process. In field tests, the calculated unbalance has shown excellent agreement with the weight actually fitted. The Blade Unbalance Calculator runs to provide an estimate of the mass unbalance in kgm, based upon a few structural parameters and the output from a tower sensor fitted at the centre of the nacelle. Not only does the output provide a direct measure of balance quality, it also distinguishes between aerodynamic and mechanical effects, ensuring plant operators prepare for the correct maintenance action. The implications of an undetected unbalance are severe: increased fatigue loads on the entire structure, including the tower and nacelle, as well as the drivetrain components. Providing a cost-effective estimate of the balance quality allows owners to target those wind turbines where balancing will make a significant improvement to the operational life. The impact of the Blade Unbalance Calculator on the cost reduction of offshore wind energy is currently being tested as part of the EU joint research project ROMEO.
Bachmann Monitoring GmbH | http://www.bachmann.info