Development of an intelligent condition monitoring system for application on critical rotating components of industrial-scale wind turbines
“Wind energy currently provides approximately 3% of the overall European electricity production. However, with the current growth trends exhibited, the wind energy industry is capable of delivering 12% of the overall European power production by 2020, and more than 20% by 2030.
Nonetheless, Operation and Maintenance costs (O&M) constitute a sizeable share of the total annual costs of a wind turbine. For a new machine, operation and maintenance costs might easily have an average share over the lifetime of a turbine of more than 30% of the total levelized cost per kWh produced. Operation and Maintenance costs are increasingly attracting the attention of manufacturers seeking to develop new designs requiring fewer regular service visits and less out-time. In order for the wind energy industry to achieve the growth targets set by the EU for the forthcoming years, wind turbine numbers have to increase substantially, while at the same time their operation and maintenance costs will need to be reduced by a noticeable factor to permit the European wind energy industry to retain its advantage over growing overseas competition. Therefore, one of the highest priorities for the European wind energy industry is currently the significant improvement of the reliability of wind turbines, involving a solid reduction in current inspection and maintenance costs mainly associated with unpredicted failures of critical rotating components.
The IntelWind project and the partners of the consortium seek to largely decrease the number of failures of critical rotating components in wind turbines and minimise the need for corrective maintenance by developing and successfully implementing an intelligent condition monitoring system based on the integration of acoustic emission, vibration analysis, torque sensing and oil analysis techniques. Although the IntelWind consortium will aim to incorporate the developed system on newly manufactured wind turbines, its installation in older wind turbines will also be possible as well as affordable.
- Delivering efficient wind energy to Europe by achieving better reliability standards and reducing corrective maintenance costs through accurate condition monitoring of wind turbines.
- Decrease in the total cost of O&M of wind turbines for the asset owners.
IntelWind is a result of a research project funded by the European Commission Research Programme under grant no. 283277.