Technology to help protect integrity of wind generation

New condition monitoring technology, introduced by Schaeffler, will help safeguard the integrity of wind power generation in Australia.

Schaeffler is bringing its latest condition monitoring and predictive maintenance technologies that use advanced digital services to look into the future of main bearings, gearboxes and generators used in generating wind power.

Predictive Maintenance 4.0 for Wind Power is part of the Schaeffler Smart EcoSystem suite of digitally integrated products which expand conventional condition monitoring approaches by linking diverse digital information sources into a single platform with new options for increased efficiency, machinery lifespan and sustainability, reduced downtime, reduced energy use and reduced total cost of ownership (TCO).

Introduction of the product comes as wind power growth accelerates globally and in Australasia, where installed power capacity rose to more than 4800MW in the latest year, according to the Global Wind Energy Council.

Global growth rose as the costs of wind power fell to levels on par or below those of fossil and nuclear power generation.

Schaeffler Australia sector manager for wind energy Ben Kang said the new technologies are particularly important to helping ensure the reliability of widely dispersed plants throughout Australasia.

The new remote monitoring technologies can help prevent breakdowns and outages of vital wind energy plant – and conventional generating equipment – while optimising the lifespans of both new and existing plant.

“With modular sensor technology in the drive train that is specially adapted for low frequencies, condition-related information can be recorded and processed in real-time, for example, by means of vibration measurements,” Mr Kang said.

“With the automated rolling bearing diagnosis digital service, the operator or maintenance technician can monitor the condition of individual bearings or complete systems from anywhere in the world via an internet connection.

“The operator then receives a clear text notification about the damage that has been analysed and can call on Schaeffler’s experts for assistance via remote analysis.”