Discussing the importance of condition monitoring of wind turbines.
Unplanned downtime costs huge as far as operation of wind turbine is concerned. Condition monitoring can help in maintaining availability of Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs).
“Condition monitoring is important for reducing downtime and fixing problems before they lead to a shutdown,” states Dr. Anil Gupta, Director, Enerfra Services (India) Pvt Ltd.
Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS) are becoming a part of the wind turbines, which feed with high frequency data enabling much finite analysis on the drive train components. Additional monitoring sensors features like thermography, power quality analysers, load measurements of crucial points etc, are useful in assessments. “High frequency data is very vital to assess the condition of drive train and life assessment of components,” informs TF Jayasurya, Country Manager-India, Windsim.
Bhupendra Rajpara, Director, Energycon India Pvt Ltd said, “It is essential to condition monitor wind turbines after installation by owner engineers or by third party consultants which is not associated with WTG supplier party.”
However, Rajpara points out, “At present, in India, windmill suppliers and service providers are not informing the reality of site during frequent breakdown and repeating errors of retail customers. More than 95 per cent service providers in Indian market are not providing daily meter readings which are noted at transformer yard’s CT/PT Unit. Most of them are manipulating the final submission reading by conducting adjustment of generation data and sharing with their customers and concerned government agencies. So it is very important to appoint owner’s engineers or consultant for watching on such mala-fide and malefic activities by their service providers and WTG suppliers.”
He adds, “Many suppliers in Indian markets are not performing preventive check except WTG breakdown.” There are many electromechanical components of the WTGs which require timely servicing and replacement of consumables etc. In view of the same, physical conditions of wind turbines and its components during various climatic conditions are very important factor leading to the performance of the wind turbine. Poor preventive maintenance and non-corrective actions, out time service and outdated consumables will lead to breakdown of windmill. These are the various reasons resulting into poor performance and less generation of customers WTGs.
Though the performance of a windmill is highly dependent on wind speed, velocity, area, shadow effect and location, one should not neglect the physical health and maintenance of WTGs as it contributes significantly to the performance of wind turbines, observes Rajpara.
Few key experts in condition monitoring for wind turbines
Enerfra Services (India)
Enerfra is a major in EPC, having installed over 2.5 GW of wind farms in India. The company intends to expand this knowledge to maintenance and analytics of wind farms. For many wind farms in India, outages related to EPC areas exceed those for turbine. Enerfra is partnered with KK Wind Solutions of Denmark to bring grid compliance products that also reduce the number of times a turbine trips. Enerfra also offers turbine specific controller upgrade solution to improve yield for older turbines. The company is planning to offer blade maintenance, blade improvement, and O&M solutions in partnership with one of the world’s leading providers. Enerfra is also in discussions with CMS providers to offer a solution for India. Apart from O&M, Enerfra intends to look at overall asset management to bring highest returns to the owners.
Energycon India is working in the field of wind power as consultant and advisor since 2005. Energycon India is uniquely poised to provide assistance to gain more returns with better performance of customers WTGs. The company is catering its expertise and services to more than 95 companies having 280 WTG producing more than 350 MW wind power at various locations in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. Its services aim to provide value addition for sustained, continuous operations and assisting to mitigate breakdown leading to increased components life span and thereby creating addition in economic value throughout life of wind turbine.
Energycon India provides consultancy for wind farm projects starting from decision of one’s good company’s board room to install a WTG anywhere in India for pre and post–installation, site monitoring, performance analysis, day-to-day reporting to one by detailing all data of performance of not only WTG but to the supplier company as well. The company keep constant vigil of site with due coordination with local O&M site infrastructure of the WTG supplier. It is well conversant with all technical data of WTG supplied by all major market players existing in Indian wind business market. The 26 years experience in the field has make us able to provide best professional consultancy and owners engineers to our customers covering all techno-commercial parameters of the project and showing them right path to achieve best returns of their valuable investment in the field of renewable energy area.
Windsim’s expertise in condition monitoring for wind turbines is that it is involved right from wind resources assessment at a macro level for a larger area, site selection, site suitability study, due-diligence, selection of wind turbine, production estimation, performance analysis etc.