Windturbine Monitoring System
A wind turbine monitoring system is responsible for monitoring the tower, blades, shaft, gear box, generator and overall conditions in the nacelle. This involves a variety of sensors e.g. accelerometers, rotary encoders, temperature sensors, oil/liquid level sensors, particle counter, voltage, current and humidity sensors. Accelerometers are used to monitor vibration from the main shaft, 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 rotating speed of 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 the nacelle are used to monitor environmental conditions 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.