065-12 Lohr, 2012-09-18

Load management extends service life


Torque and torsion measurement in the drive train increase the availability of wind turbines

Wind shear and turbulences sometimes significantly overload the components of wind turbines, particular highly stressed gearboxes. The drive train is usually designed according to calculated load profiles. These profiles are based on selective temporary and local measurements. While condition monitoring systems generally only detect damages after it has occurred, the torque and torsion angle measurement on the gearbox as developed by Bosch Rexroth in collaboration with Bosch Engineering GmbH and other partners helps to avoid damage before it occurs. This could help to avoid high repair costs, down times or even the need to replace gearboxes. Wind turbines and their components can also be optimized for their respective load profile based on the loads that actually occur. This increases availability, as well as the operating lifetime of wind turbines and therefore the revenues they generate.

In future, the dynamic measurement of torque in the drive train will form the central element in optimizing the wind turbines. The actual torques in the drive train are measured, and the results are analyzed in terms of stationary, dynamic, and special load events. Overloads and critical conditions, for example oscillations in the drive train, can be detected immediately and counteracted via the turbine control unit. Wear and potential damage on system components can be avoided in the early beginnings.

Comparing the designed and the actual seen loads of components gives operators and manufacturers necessary information that allows to forecast the remaining lifetime of components, and possibly extend operating lifetime based on real measurements. Maintenance work and repairs can be better planned and executed more cost-effectively. Using real load data, future wind turbine- and component designs can be optimized.

The cost-effective measurement system uses proven automotive technologies and algorithms. Sensors and sensor control unit (SCU) can be fully integrated into the gearbox, resulting in an optimized adjustment of the components and improved performance. With the retrofit solutions, however, sensors and SCU can also easily be added to wind turbines already in operation. Individual adaptation is possible on almost any drive train. Using teach in algorithms, the measurement system adapts to the individual parameters of the respective drive train. In addition to real-time values for rotor positions, speed, torque and gearbox torsion, the measurement system also delivers the cumulated frequency distribution for these values as well as their dynamic portion.

Rexroth at HUSUM WindEnergy: Hall 3, Stand 3D12

Bosch Rexroth AG is one of the world’s leading specialists in the field of drive and control technologies. Under the Rexroth brand name, the company supplies more than 500,000 customers with tailored solutions for driving, controlling, and moving. Bosch Rexroth is a partner for Mobile Applications, Machinery Applications and Engineering, Factory Automation and Renewable Energies. The company provides customized solutions tailored to the needs and specifications of each individual market. As The Drive & Control Company, Bosch Rexroth develops, produces, and sells components and systems in over 80 countries. As part of the Bosch Group, Bosch Rexroth and its 38,400 associates generated approximately 6.4 billion euros in revenue in 2011.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. According to preliminary figures, more than 300,000 associates generated sales of 51.4 billion euros in the areas of automotive and industrial technology, consumer goods, and building technology in fiscal 2011. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 350 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. If its sales and service partners are included, then Bosch is represented in roughly 150 countries. This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth. Bosch spent more than 4 billion euros for research and development in 2011, and applied for over 4,100 patents worldwide. With all its products and services, Bosch enhances the quality of life by providing solutions which are both innovative and beneficial.

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Susanne Herzlieb
Maria-Theresien-Straße 23
97816 Lohr am Main
Phone: +49 9352 18-1573