Condition monitoring is not a new thing, but complex data analysis and interpretation are at the forefront. Utilizing monitoring systems combined with computer-based maintenance management systems enable predictive and proactive maintenance planning instead of waiting for failures to occur or planned maintenance that may not be needed.
Monitoring systems position sensors at key points in a wind turbine, and data is sent to the maintenance team for collection and analysis. Data gathered includes information on lubrication levels, vibration, temperatures, and foundation displacement. Systems can also monitor the physical movements of the rotor shaft, strain, torque, bending, and shear, as well as electrical faults.
Monitoring wind turbines is an essential part of preventing unnecessary and pricey repairs by identifying components that may have the likelihood of failing in the near future. Pinpointing the different types of maintenance to be performed can allow wind farm owners to schedule maintenance that requires leasing of cranes or other equipment for multiple turbines, which reduces costs. Additionally, scheduled preventative maintenance can be adjusted based on data collected to optimize the maintenance costs and costs associated with unscheduled fault repairs.