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Control technology: the brain of the turbine

Control, guidance, monitoring and access to the wind turbine are primarily organised by the control electronics. Why does everyone currently seem to be talking about this? We think it’s because with advancing technical developments, comes more and more functions, a higher level of complexity and increasing digitalisation, so control technology is now the brain of the turbine, and this makes it the key component. The discussion revolves around competencies, responsibilities, transparency, competition and, last but not least, safe and cost-effective plant operation from the point of view of maintenance.

The image of a key is also a great symbol, because countless variations are imaginable in which doors are built, locks are installed. Keys are needed to be able to use the control technology. Each individual component can be equipped with a wide range of technology that can be categorised under the term ‘control’.

However, it can also be connected to an assembly at the next level in different ways, to communicate with it or be controlled by it. The whole thing can be scaled upwards as construction units, sub-plants, plants, plant systems or complete systems. In-depth knowledge is required to master and further develop individual parts and their connections. The challenge for operators is to gain the necessary access to the required control systems beyond the mere documentation.

Access to control systems is only possible with restrictions

Practice shows that the keys are different and that the access levels have different barriers, and this is understandable. A different level of access is required for standard maintenance, from when a component or assembly is replaced, and the components and assemblies connected to it need to receive updated information, in advance or afterwards, when parameters have been changed or reset. This multi-level communication between individual systems is now organised almost completely by software.

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