Observer-based Condition Monitoring System for Main Transmissions in Wind Turbines

The research project "Observer-based Condition Monitoring System for Main Transmissions in Wind Turbines (BCMS)" is part of the 6th Energy Research Programme of the Federal Government with the focus on an environmentally friendly, reliable and affordable energy supply.

By increasing the rated output of onshore and offshore wind turbines (WTGs), higher electrical energy production is achieved. At the same time, the loads on the individual turbine components such as main bearings, main gearboxes, generators and auxiliary drives increase. Furthermore, the increased output also increases the costs for the plant operator in the event of damage, which is due to the increase in the amount of electricity per plant. To ensure security of supply, an increase in availability is necessary, for which condition monitoring systems are used.

Current CMS in WTGs are based on a signal-based approach as they are cost-effective and can satisfactorily detect component damage to fast-moving components such as rolling bearings. However, they have deficits in detecting damage to slowly rotating components. In addition, the degree of automation of today's CMS is low because the automatic generation of damage reports often does not function reliably and additional signal analysis by experts is required. Furthermore, structure-borne sound signals are only conditionally suitable for predicting the remaining service life because they do not exhibit sufficient correlation to the dynamic load variables required for this.