Safe Wind Turbine Monitoring


A few days ago, our technical manager, Charles Machado, took part in the installation of a VIGILANT on-line monitoring system, equipped with SDT CONMONSense sensors, in a 2 MW wind turbine, about 80 meters high.

In wind turbines, the constraints of accessibility, safety, logistics, etc. imposed by working at height, make remote monitoring of equipment a real necessity. Moreover, ensuring the optimal availability of this equipment, while planning maintenance interventions, is undoubtedly the best way to control production costs.

The VIGILANT, accessible via 4G, was set up for these reasons, in a simple and efficient way. The system combines the versatility of vibration and ultrasound measurement technologies, analysis means and standardized communication protocols within a web interface for analysis and trend monitoring. For the moment, 3 points (main bearing, gearbox and generator) are monitored in real time, on which alarms have yet to be defined. The data is only stored on the device and can be retrieved on demand via its API-rest. The VIGILANT system equipped with its standardized sensors (IEPE or 0-10 V) meets the technical challenge of efficient monitoring of equipment with a wide speed range (here in the range of 10-20 RPM for the main bearing to 1500-2000 RPM for the generator).

In particular, because of a low sensitivity below a few Hz due to the design of accelerometers, the vibration analysis at low speed (<20 RPM = 0.33 Hz) does not allow to highlight the possible signatures associated with the kinematics of the main bearing. The use of the CONMONSense ultrasonic sensor, with heterodyne output (sampleable from 10 kHz) gives new means of analysis while remaining very similar to traditional vibration methods. Its “resonant” design gives the sensor a natural amplification, which, like a bell, allows it to be particularly sensitive to low frequency shocks.

Here you can find more info about the product.