Alert engineers identified a potentially serious problem with the gearbox of a customer’s wind turbine, advising the customer to inspect the gears without delay.
Such is the essential work of our Bently Nevada Remote Monitoring & Diagnostics engineers. “In this situation, the inspection revealed a broken tooth on the intermediate speed gear and excessive pitting on the low speed gear,” said RM&D engineer Garrett Olson. “If left unresolved, this event could have caused a very expensive and catastrophic failure.”
Conclusion & Solution
The RM&D Center’s timely notification enabled the customer to safely schedule a replacement of the gear assemblies. Early detection of the problem by the RM&D allowed the customer to promptly perform repairs within the nacelle, the enclosure at the top of the wind turbine tower, saving $200K USD+ according to the customer. The alternative would have required the use of a crane along with extensive heavy-lift equipment and personnel to install a complete gearbox replacement at the top of the tower.
BN engineers in the RM&D Center monitor the software and hardware of the Adapt.Wind/60M100 Condition Monitoring System (CMS), providing on-line supervision of wind turbine machine trains with sophisticated signal processing algorithms and machine operating states. When a turbine defect exists, engineers alert the customer to take action thereby preventing the failure of a turbine asset.
Bently Nevada's Condition Monitoring Solution can save turbine owners hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars per year in lost revenue, depending on the size of the wind farm. Turbine owners can expect to see cost savings from several sources, including reduced crane costs as well as early detection and minimized damage.
Furthermore, turbine owners will see a significant reduction in unnecessary turbine outages and production losses over time.
“Remote monitoring works,” said RM&D Center Operations Leader Steven Ciesla. “We provide value to our customers by immediately detecting problems and delivering actionable recommendations to help them investigate and resolve their machinery problems systematically, thoroughly and without delay.”
The unit was halted and the customer performed a borescope inspection.
The gearbox showed a broken tooth on the Intermediate Speed gear along with excessive pitting on the Low Speed gear. The customer resolved to replace the IMS and HSS assemblies up-tower.