6. 3. 2012

Wind turbines, continuous 'blood pressure' check or 'heart attack'?

Wind turbines are an expensive asset that can require a lot of maintenance. Bearing or gear oil failure can lead to catastrophic failure and older technologies only detected damage after it occurred - the 'heart attack' analogy. Wouldn't it be better to monitor your turbine's 'blood pressure' continuously for signs of potential problems?

The new WearSens® from cmc Instruments GmbH does just that.

Gearbox damage is the end result of a series of events. The beginning is hairline crack formation and this can be initiated by a number of different factors, too much load, turbine imbalance, transmitted vibration and simply the passage of roller bearings over time.

Once the hairline crack develops, oil then enters this crack, heat and vibration within the crack cause it to degrade into acids and hydrogen, inter alia. The hydrogen then causes embrittlement of the surface around the crack leading to shearing of particles, pitting of the roller bearing and subsequent damage. Corroded bearings, sheared particles and oil quality deterioration contribute to the damage.

WearSens® will detect these changes long before the damage occurs. It is a unique condition monitor, online and continuous. WearSens® can be used to optimise load versus damage, accurately show additive consumption and predict the need for timely preventative maintenance instead of rigid inspection intervals. Savings result from reduced downtime, accurate oil changes and reduction in abrasive wear.

WearSens® is easy to install or retro-fit with a choice of inline or flow through measurement. The decentralised, web based monitoring system makes results available anywhere in the world.

Applications for the WearSens® include wind turbines, high voltage transformers, large gearboxes and lubricant analysis in automotive and marine test benches.

cmc Instruments manufacture trace moisture analysers, nitrogen generators for LC-MS applications, filter systems for process gases and the new WearSens® - a patented, online system for condition monitoring in roller bearings, gears and transformers.


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