KCF Technologies Blog

Wireless Vibration Monitoring Breezing into Wind Industry

The following article, authored by KCF Technologies employee Christopher Shannon, was published on RenewableEnergyWorld.com on August 8, 2013.

A SmartDiagnostics®
wireless vibration sensor
mounted on a wind turbine
blade root.
Wind turbines can, and do, fail. And, when they do fail, they do so in spectacular fashion. A quick search on YouTube for “wind turbine failures” yields numerous videos of exploding wind turbines, wind turbines on fire, or involved in other high-stress calamities. 

However, predictive maintenance with wireless vibration monitoring can offer a solution.  By using wireless vibration monitoring to continuously monitor the health of wind turbines, wind turbine operators can access information that can be used to reduce operational downtime.  By tracking vibration patterns that indicate an urgent need for maintenance the operator can take action to repair the turbine before a catastrophic failure occurs.

Furthermore, by using the vibration monitoring information to indicate when maintenance activities need to be performed the operator can reduce unnecessary maintenance and shutdowns, enabling additional significant savings to be realized.  First, let us look at five specific phenomenon that vibration monitoring may detect to avoid excessive downtime or failure.  Then, we will take a look at the potential value of wireless vibration monitoring on a hypothetical fleet of 100 turbines.  Finally, a real-world use case will be discussed.  Read the rest of the article on RenewableEnergyWorld.com.

Photo courtesy of Trans-Tag.  All rights reserved.

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