Encoders are used in several locations in a wind turbine but the three key applications are blade pitch, slip rings, and generator control. Each has special challenges but all must tolerate environmental extremes common to a nacelle, such as heat over 100°F. The high temperatures expand what is initially clean lab air and forces it out of the unit. As the encoder cools, down to -20°F and below in the winter, it pulls less than ideal air into the encoder. This can bring along dirt, moisture, and salt air. Add the vibration of a working turbine and you see an encoder’s life is less than ideal.
To learn more about encoders better fit for wind work, join Paul Dvorak with Brian Winter, product manager at encoder manufacturer Nidec Avtron, and learn of the design features that make some encoders better than others.