Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


CMDrive Report Summary

Project ID: 701002

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - CMDrive (Condition Monitoring of Wind Turbine Drive-Trains via Non-Contact Acoustic Sensors)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2017-02-28

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

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
CMDrive project seeks to further develop the current CMDrive prototype (TRL6) to take it to commercialization stage (TRL9). CMdrive will develop bespoke, non-intrusive, acoustic-analysis CM system, which utilises an acoustic sensors (microphones). The developed acoustic pressure sensor is arranged in a manner which allow for easy installation and set-up. Additionally, our technology supports the growth of a renewable source of energy, currently responsible for providing 10.4% of Europe’s electricity demand, and which is forecast to increase to 15.7% by 2020.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

• Modification of the original CMDrive prototype developing the following concepts:
o CM system based on a microphone array to apply beamforming for spatial filtering
o CM system based on 3 directional microphones
o CM system based on a single high-quality
• The modifications described above involved the following tasks:
o Market research of low cost microphones and microphones arrays existing in the market.
o Microphone holding system design
o Custom software designed in LabView to acquire the data from the microphones and microphone array
o Amplifier custom design for the MEMS microphone InvenSense ICS-40300.
o Development of the DAQ system including signal condition, ADC, processing and storage for the 3 systems
o Development of a remote 3G communication for control and data communication.
• Discussion with wind farm owners to install the system for validation purposes
• Installation of the 3 prototypes on three different wind turbines model MADE AE-61 rated 1.3 MW in the north of Spain. Vibration sensors (accelerometers) were installed in parallel to correlate the vibrations of the components and the sound. In addition, current clamps were installed to measure the power output of the wind turbine in real-time.
• Post-processing of the data acquired from the 3 prototypes
o Signature creation (RMS, peak value) against power output and wind speed
o Frequency analysis
o Correlation analysis of accelerometers and microphones
• Discussion with the wind farm owner were the 3 systems were installed to obtain customer feedback regarding specific needs and system alterations
• Preparation of the specification document for WP2 using the results of the trials and the customer feedback. In addition a face-to-face meeting was held with representatives of Gamesa Corporación Tecnológica, S.A., the third wind turbine manufacturer worldwide, to discuss with them the requirements for such a systems and disseminate the project.
The main outcome can be summarized as follows:
• Due to the reverberations in the nacelle the microphone array and directional microphones do to increase the SNR of the signals detected from the different components. Therefore, they do not offer any advantage over a single microphone in sensitivity and fault localization. Thus, single microphone will be used to measure the sound produced by all the components.
• There is very good frequency correlation in the range 20 Hz-3 kHz between the vibration of the drivetrain measured with the accelerometers and the pressure measured with the microphones.
• From the discussion with key wind power industry players, we can conclude that there is significant interest from the industry for such system, specially of owners with old wind turbines with no condition monitoring systems installed in their assets, high rate of failures and do not want to do a high investment.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

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.
With the CMDrive system, vibrations from all the rotating components within the nacelle will be monitored through the airborne noise generated by the surface vibrations of the machinery. These acoustic vibrations, emitted from the drivetrain, are utilised in order to generate a unique/bespoke baseline for that specific wind turbine, i.e., one which describes the normal/expected variations in the sound profile which correspond to ‘healthy operation’ for the full range of power outputs experienced by the turbine.
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 cumulative profits of at least €26 million
• ROI of 8.6 times, assuming project total value of €3million
• The creation of about 180 jobs within consortium and associated companies which are part of the supply chain
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.

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