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Condition Monitoring of Wind Turbine Drive-Trains via Non-Contact Acoustic Sensors

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - CMDrive (Condition Monitoring of Wind Turbine Drive-Trains via Non-Contact Acoustic Sensors)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-05-31

There is an increasing trend in the wind power sector for Wind Farm Owners (WFOs) to in-source their own Wind Turbine Conditioning Monitoring Systems (WTCMS), focusing particularly on drive train analysis. This choice stems from a number of issues with current Condition Monitoring (CM) systems (e.g.: Vibrational Analysis), primarily:
a) the system sensors are intrusive, and thus present difficulties during the installation process; such tampering also revokes the initial OEM warranty of the drive-train components,
b) CM systems are often calibrated according to the manufacturer’s machinery, and hence are not specific enough to the WFO’s turbines; the CM system often triggers false alarms or only warns the operator when the component is too close to catastrophic failure. This is best highlighted by the fact that the Probability of Detection (POD) for gearbox issues and faults is still too low, averaging at about 60% for typical power outputs.
Besides these industry-related issues with current CM systems, there is also both legislative and Quality Assurance (QA) pressure to improve such technologies.
A CM system which is accurate, reliable and tailored for the continuous analysis of wind turbine drive-trains is therefore an essential asset in order to formulate and enforce such new standards. As partners in this project, we have devised a solution which will:
• Resolve the fundamental industry problems with current CM systems
• Meet the stricter regulations which are to be imposed throughout the EU
• Offer a truly specific CM system for wind turbine machinery, to facilitate the emendation of current ISO standards for the diagnosis of wind turbines
The aim of CMDrive project was to further develop CMDrive prototype (TRL6) to take it to the commercialization stage (TRL9). CMDrive consortium has developed ACMWind, a bespoke, non-intrusive, acoustic-analysis CM system, which utilises acoustic sensors (microphones). ACMWind is currently available on Spares in Motion, a recognised ecommerce and trading platform that moves around products and services in the wind energy field.
For WP1 the original CMDrive prototype was modified developing 3 different systems that were installed on three different wind turbines model MADE AE-61 rated 1.3 MW. The trial allowed us to obtain customer feedback regarding specific needs and system alterations.Relex defined the test strategy that will be used to verify the requirements and test ACM Drive System. These guidelines have been included in the report presented in D2.1- Test plan.
Result of the trials and customer feedback allowed the preparation of the specification document for WP2. The main task of WP2 was the modification of the initial system into a product to allow the commercialization. These modifications have been included in D2.1 – Technical report on system modification. Also, functional and environmental tests were successfully completed. A first version of the completed system was already developed by the end of RP2. During RP3 minor modifications were made to the GUI and embedded software to add some improvements.
The first task for WP3 is the user manual which includes information regarding the installation and the use of the system. In addition, two promotional videos were developed for marketing purposes. Finally, the system was installed in a real environment for demonstration purposes. Two different trials were conducted. The first trial was deployed in Italy, where the system was installed in four direct drive wind turbines, three faulty and one healthy. The second trial was carried out in Spain. The system was installed in a 1.3MW gear drive wind turbine with no-known defect.
During WP4 the final system was tested against international standards for Condition Monitoring equipment. CE Marking was achieved as well as conformance to BS ISO 17359 guidelines.
For WP5 the dissemination plan included the the following tasks:
•Agreement for manufacturing ACMWind system signed
•4 distributor agreements signed for companies around Europe
•Development of a product cost analysis
•Assistance and dissemination in exhibitions including:‘Offshore Wind Energy’ London 6-8th June 2017, ‘First World Congress on Condition Monitoring’ London 14-16th June 2017, Reoltec X Assembly Madrid, WindEnergy 2018 Hamburg (exhibitors) 25-28th September 2019, WindEurope 2019 Bilbao 2nd April 2019
•TV interview in Popular TV (Spain)
•Publication:WindTech International Magazine, Il Sole 24 Ore Newspaper, AEE (Spanish Wind Energy Association) Catalogue 2019 distributed in WindEurope 2019 - Bilbao
•Design and production of Leaflets and brochures
•Demonstration of the product operating within a real environment
•Updates on ACMWIND.COM
• LinkedIn and YouTube
•Preparation and delivery of the seminar ‘How to use airborne emissions to assess the integrity of wind turbines drivetrains’
•Implementation of a CMDrive project section on partner's company website and redirection to ACMwind website
•Application to different Business Missions organized by EU Gateway (Korea and Japan)
•Product Launching event
•Product available at Spares In Motion e-commerce platform
The project has been developed in accordance with the provisions of the DoA and all planned tasks have been successfully carried out. The final product has been finalised and has been successfully demonstrated on a real environment. By the end of the project, ACMWind is on the market. The final system has obtained CE marking, essential to reach European market. It also meets international guidelines for Condition Monitoring equipment, as it complies ISO 17359.
Extensive dissemination work has been carried out both before and after its launch on the market. This work includes a large number of activities through different communication channels that have captured the attention of different stakeholders looking for effective CM systems.
The project has made significant technological progress by providing condition monitoring prototypes based on airborne emissions tested in an operational environment that are capable of monitoring the drive-train of the wind turbine including the gearbox and generator.
CMDrive is a disruptive innovation within the CM sector of the wind industry, as it aims to revolutionise the manner in which condition monitoring for wind turbines is carried out, shifting it from an intrusive (such as with Vibrational Analysis and Acoustic Emission), to a non-contact/non-intrusive process. It will therefore be marketed and positioned as a bespoke and non-intrusive acoustic‐analysis CM system for wind farm owners.
CMDrive will also have a direct impact in the competitiveness of the participating SMEs. CMDrive is expected to have an impact on both European and foreign markets, and over the
5-year sales projection, we forecast:
• Total NET cumulative profits of at least €10 million
• CMDrive is seen as a project of 233 % ROI
• The creation of about 25 jobs within consortium.
The use of CMDrive will have a direct impact in the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) of wind power due to a reduction of preventive and reactive maintenance and an increase in availability of wind turbines. Therefore, CMDrive will make the wind power industry more competitive and will contribute to reduce the use of fossil fuels.
Installation of CMDrive prototype
3D view of the designed system