The new AIC214 Condition Monitoring module from Bachmann introduces a range of additional features that extend its capabilities. The ring buffer enables continuous values to be produced, so the condition monitoring system (CMS) can also be part of a machine or plant protection system, based on values from ISO standards.
This also enables continuous monitoring and event triggered recordings with no danger of missing any sections of data for remnant life monitoring. The specification includes three extra IEPE channels (which not only measure but also power the sensors) and an increased range of selectable sample rates and filters.
The new module also features improved signal-to-noise ratio performance through 24bit A-D resolution, giving a dynamic range in excess of 95 decibel. In addition, Bachmann is launching the cut down four channel version AIC206, which provides the same functionality in a reduced-cost package.
The software to drive these modules provides the opportunity to add extra functionality through plug-ins. The goal is integration, to help plant operators use the CMS to identify and monitor all the relevant issues on wind turbines.
“There are lots of useful technologies coming to the market to support wind turbines, but if each has its own communications requirements this is a point of failure, and a burden on the wind farm” said David Futter, product manager at Bachmann Monitoring. By integrating the functionality into a single system the existing communications and security infrastructure is also used for the additional functionality. “This gives owners a much easier path to holistic health monitoring for their turbines,” he added.
Bachmann’s first plug in – the Blade Unbalance Calculator – provides a measure of rotor unbalance based on a single additional accelerometer, a 2D MEMS motion sensor added in the nacelle. The calculator uses a simple mathematical model of the tower to identify both mass and aerodynamic unbalance from this motion. The calculation is merged seamlessly with the normal condition monitoring functions, and so provides this valuable extra information via the existing system.
The Bachmann team is currently working on another feature. A sensor designated for blade monitoring. Visitors to the Global Wind Summit in Hamburg will see the early results. This sensor detects the bending of the blade, which is something that can be used for detecting ice, monitoring the fatigue loads and changing the control to pitch the blades individually to get the most power from the wind.