Real-time monitoring of wind turbines

At a kickoff meeting in the Oldenburg WindLab at ForWind on 28 October, the partners in the recently started research project ConUp came together. The joint project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) with a total of 1.2 million euros over a period of three years. Within the framework of ConUp, scientists want to develop methods to be able to modernize existing wind turbines more easily and quickly.

In order to generate more energy from wind in the future, the costs of manufacturing and operating wind turbines must be further reduced, and new locations will have to be exploited. In addition to new concepts for more efficient plants, the operation of existing plants can also be improved in order to increase the energy yield and extend the service life. However, potential remains untapped during modernization and retrofitting, as wind farm operators are dependent on the turbine manufacturers for many retrofits or have to replace the complete hardware and software system at great expense. In addition, for some modifications, the structural stability must be checked and, if necessary, recertified.

An additional monitoring system in the wind turbines can help to reduce the cost of modernization. As part of ConUp, the project partners want to develop a system that measures and evaluates critical operating parameters of the wind turbine in real time, either temporarily or permanently, and derives the necessary operational measures from this. They are also developing a simplified procedure for assessing the implementation of such monitoring systems. The scientists will test and refine the monitoring system in computer simulations, wind tunnel experiments and measurements on a real plant in the free field.

In ConUp, the ForWind site at the University of Oldenburg (project coordination) is involved with the working groups "Wind Energy Systems" and "Turbulence, Wind Energy and Stochastics" as well as the ForWind site at the University of Bremen with the Institute for Electrical Drives, Power Electronics and Components (IALB). The project consortium is complemented by Windrad Engineering GmbH, WIHM-Tech GmbH, WindGuard Certification GmbH and EnergieKontor Management GmbH & Co. KG.

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