As wind operators look to ensure their fleets are running as economically as possible, the use of data to improve asset management and predictive maintenance strategies is becoming increasingly vital. In the wind industry today, the benefits of Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) are widely accepted to help achieve optimal wind turbine performance. More data from more turbines means the industry is better equipped to rise to any emerging O&M challenges and will enable further reductions in the Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE).
Drivetrain CMS systems accurately determine early signs of damage in subcomponents, such as gears, bearings, couplings, etc. This enables predictive maintenance (PdM) and estimates of remaining useful component life to be made. The knowledge of a fault developing with a long lead time before a critical failure occurs leads to major operational economic gains, by facilitating the sourcing of cheaper replacement parts well in advance, shutting down turbines before catastrophic failure, reducing downtime, scheduling repairs out of the windy season, and consolidating multiple turbine repairs into lower cost campaigns. This has led to all major owners and operators being able to justify the investment of the CMS hardware and data monitoring.