Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Measuring wind turbines remotely using new information technology

Date:
February 10, 2014
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
The rotor and mast of a wind turbine can oscillate even in normal operation. The analysis of these oscillations plays an important role when the equipment is being developed and maintained. Up to now, this analysis has only been possible at discrete points located directly on equipment. Researchers have now demonstrated that using modern information technology to remotely measure the oscillatory pattern over the entire structure of the facility is possible from several hundred meters away.

The laser tracks the motion of the rotor blades and remains exactly at the same position on the surface. Operators of wind turbines can measure the oscillatory pattern over the entire structure of the facility from several hundred meters away at every desired spot.
Credit: Fraunhofer IOSB

The rotor and mast of a wind turbine can oscillate even in normal operation. The analysis of these oscillations plays an important role when the equipment is being developed and maintained. Up to now, this analysis has only been possible at discrete points located directly on equipment. The Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB uses modern information technology to remotely measure the oscillatory pattern over the entire structure of the facility from several hundred meters away.

"Wind turbines oscillate with displacements of up to a meter in magnitude, even at normal wind speeds. This represents a large load for the material, which can lead to damage and worst case to failure of an installation," says Dr. Ilja Kaufmann from the Optronics Department of IOSB in Ettlingen. For this reason, operators continuously check how strong the oscillations are by using sensors built into the mast and rotor blades. The disadvantage of this approach is that measurements are only made at the locations where the sensors were mounted. "Obtaining a comprehensive oscillatory pattern over the entire installation is impossible using this technology," according to Kaufmann.

Laser tracks movement of the rotor blades automatically

Kaufmann and his colleagues have taken on this problem. From March 10th to 14th they will be presenting a technological system at CeBIT in Hanover with which the oscillation analysis can be completely carried out from a distance of several hundred meters. The system consists of a laser that is directed at the installation and able to measure the oscillations at all points on the surface. To accomplish this, the laser automatically tracks the motion of the moving parts like the rotor blades.

The centerpiece of the system responsible for this is an IT-based tracking system combining a camera and a laser. These are mounted on a head that can pan and tilt to follow the rotor blades. The camera records images of the installation and forwards these along to software that processes the images and builds a model of the rotary motion from the data. With the help of this information, the pan and tilt head is positioned so that the laser automatically follows the rotor blades. The camera simultaneously collects data about the exact position of the roughly two-to-three centimeter laser spot on the rotor blade in order to stabilize it on the revolving surface.

This way, as many points on the equipment as are needed can be scanned during operation -- even from a great distance. "Considerably more comprehensive analyses can be carried out very quickly than are possible using fixed sensors. The measurement interval is variable: the slower the oscillations, the longer the laser takes measurements," says Kaufmann.

Operators can evaluate installations

The system is compact and easily transported to the desired position using a vehicle. Due to its extended range, offshore installations can be examined from on board a ship, assuming that you compensate for the ship's own movement. "Many wind farms in Germany have been running a good 20 years already -- often the maximum operating life. Operators can use our technology to evaluation their installations. We can provide decision-making assistance for questions like 'Is it in good enough shape that I can continue to operate it, or should I sell it and build a new one at the same site?'" according to Kaufmann.

At CeBIT the scienstist and his colleagues will be displaying a prototype of the diagnostics system. Visitors can trace the path of the low-power laser beam's green dot on the rotor blades of the six-foot wind turbine model at the Fraunhofer booth (hall 9, booth E40). The images from the camera and of the oscillation analyses can be seen on two monitor screens of the system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Measuring wind turbines remotely using new information technology." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210083149.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2014, February 10). Measuring wind turbines remotely using new information technology. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210083149.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Measuring wind turbines remotely using new information technology." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140210083149.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans

AP (July 24, 2014) TSA administrator, John Pistole's took part in the Aspen Security Forum 2014, where he answered questions on lifting of the ban on flights into Israel's Tel Aviv airport and whether politics played a role in lifting the ban. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

Algonquin Power Goes Activist on Its Target Gas Natural

TheStreet (July 23, 2014) When The Deal's Amanda Levin exclusively reported that Gas Natural had been talking to potential suitors, the Ohio company responded with a flat denial, claiming its board had not talked to anyone about a possible sale. Lo and behold, Canadian utility Algonquin Power and Utilities not only had approached the company, but it did it three times. Its last offer was for $13 per share as Gas Natural's was trading at a 60-day moving average of about $12.50 per share. Now Algonquin, which has a 4.9% stake in Gas Natural, has taken its case to shareholders, calling on them to back its proposals or, possibly, a change in the target's board. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins