Remote terminal software interface
"As large numbers of wind turbines are set in places difficult to reach by service personnel, it is essential that remote access is available to offer critical monitoring and control functions," said Tobias Rösmann, R&D manager for Moog.
Moog's solution is to offer new Wind Turbine Pitch Remote Terminal software, which is designed to help engineers and operators perform operational analysis and monitoring based on real-time data. This could reduce the need for time-consuming and costly onsite service visits and reduce wind power costs.
The software offers both better control and a more in-depth understanding of the operation of the pitch systems, both of which are critical to the efficiency and safety of wind turbines. Engineers and service personnel can both access the software using a single graphical user interface. This lets users remotely diagnose potential operational issues in the pitch system and take corrective actions by parameter editing or through preventive maintenance.
Displaying the status view of the pitch control system alongside important control information makes the software a comprehensive, easy-to-use service tool. The parameter editor offers a full dataset and protected access to key parameters in the pitch system control software. Integrated condition monitoring functions provide early diagnoses of potential issues, which is critical to reducing turbine downtime. The tool is designed to help operators plan onsite service work, allowing for effective and targeted maintenance. Software updates can be applied remotely to ensure customers can take advantage of continuous improvements in the tool based on feedback from global service organizations.
One critical component of this approach is accessibility to the key set of PLC parameters used to control the pitch system. By restructuring the software within the PLC and providing easy access to the parameter set, Moog was able to create a graphical user interface that makes visualizing system operations intuitive and easy. The functionality allows for remote access over an Ethernet link for monitoring wind farms spread over a large area.
Webster said most operators are also using SCADA systems in conjunction with the controls to monitor operating parameters, and they are visualizing system performance using control centers. The expectation is that the PLC parameters will implement the same data structure used in the customer's SCADA system.
Blade condition monitoring
Blade condition monitoring is another area where Bosch Rexroth has been developing expertise and solutions. The goal is to use rotor blade monitoring to increase the output of wind turbine generator systems. Many wind turbine operators still rely on visual inspections, rather than continuous blade monitoring. Damage from storms, icing, lightning strikes, and wind gusts are often detected only by routine inspections, when the repair expense is already high or a replacement is required.