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Digital wind turbine monitoring

Permanent wind turbine vibration monitoring

Wind turbine vibration monitoring is a crucial part of the turbine’s safety chain. Permanent monitoring of the wind turbine’s structural and rotating parts can protect wind farm assets from catastrophic failure and improve the turbine’s grid time.

PCH vibration monitor for pumps

  • Monitor structural vibration continuously
  • Integrate real-time vibration data with PLC and SCADA systems
  • Detect emerging faults in turbine components
  • Avoid unnecessary turbine shutdowns
  • Improve the reliability of the power production
  • Reduce wind turbine downtime.

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GL-certified, digital wind turbine monitor

For the past 20 years, we at PCH Engineering have been refining our turbine safety and process monitoring system in close collaboration with the global wind industry.

The result is an advanced, yet price-attractive digital turbine monitoring system which measures the structural turbine vibrations, including the low frequencies of the turbine’s tower and blades, and detects emerging faults at an early stage.


PCH 1026: Low-frequency structural monitor

  • Sensors: 1 built-in 3-axis accelerometer or up to 4 external sensors
  • Frequency range: adjustable, 0.1-200 Hz or 0.1-1,000 Hz (2 bands only)
  • Measuring range: adjustable
  • Signal detection: RMS, Peak, Peak to Peak
  • Measuring parameter: acceleration (m/s², mm/s², μm/s², g, mg, μg, Inch/s², mInch/s², μInch/s²), velocity (mm/s), displacement (m, mm, μm, Inch, Mils, μInch)
  • Outputs: 4 4-20 mA outputs, 12 frequency band outputs, 4 alarm relays, 1 GL2010 certified SSD (Safety Shock Detection) relay with an independent output for safety loops
  • Communication: USB, RS232, RS-485, CANbus, CANopen, ProfiBUS, ProfiNet, ProfiSAFE, EtherCat, Ethernet/TCP
  • Compliance: IEC 61 508: SIL 2, ISO13849: PL-d,  IP 54,  GL2003, GL2010


Why monitor vibrations in hydro turbines?


Why monitor vibrations in wind turbines with digital monitors?

Monitoring structural vibrations in wind turbines helps keep the assets safe and maximise the power production on the grid by keeping track of tower acceleration, blade imbalance, torsional vibration on gearboxes, and nacelle twisting.

A digital monitor provides more accurate electronic surveillance of the wind turbine compared to mechanical and analogue detectors, which results in fewer false alarms and, hence, higher availability on the grid and greater power production.

In other words, digital vibration monitors are a cost-effective way to protect assets while preventing unnecessary shutdowns.


Core functionality of digital vibration monitors

The digital vibration monitor is a crucial, built-in part of the wind turbine’s safety chain and provides PL-d and SIL 2 level safety.

The monitor provides accurate, real-time vibration data to the turbine’s control system, which you can integrate into PLC and site SCADA control routines.


Monitoring functionality of the PCH 1026 structural monitor

The digital vibration monitor PCH 1026 is a high-performance safety and control system component, which can be used for a wide array of structural monitoring applications.

It monitors tower oscillation, frequency and inclination, torsional and differential nacelle vibrations, shocks, blade vibrations and rotor unbalance etc.

Furthermore, the monitor provides time critical timewave data as an integrated part of the control process for active tower damping.

Vibrations exceeding the set limits will trigger an alarm and an automatic shutdown mechanism, preventing catastrophic failure and secondary damage.

Start protecting your wind turbines today:


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How to monitor vibrations in wind turbines

Different structural parts of a wind turbine oscillate, move, or vibrate. Monitoring the tower, blades, nacelle, main bearing, and gearbox is an important part of the wind turbine safety chain.

Should these components oscillate or vibrate too much, they can endanger the wind turbine or cause severe secondary damage.


Use a monitor with accurate filters

The key to successful turbine condition monitoring is to use filters of high accuracy and precision to get a correct frequency response.

The structural frequency components are often distributed very closely on a frequency scale. Consequently, filters must have high selectivity in order to pass only the frequency components of interest.

Simple filters typically struggle to suppress structural resonance frequencies in the higher frequency range, resulting in false or premature alarms and added downtime.

An equally important parameter is the time domain response, including time delay, phase, and transient response.


Reliable filters for your wind turbine

The PCH 1026 is a fully digital vibration monitor developed in close collaboration with the wind industry to meet the exact requirements of the turbine safety chain.

It features 12 simultaneously operating filter bands with high precision filters, which are designed to selectively pass frequencies from within the band of the structural component of interest and suppress all irrelevant frequencies.

You can choose from a variety of filter types to meet the required compromise between the frequency- and time domain responses. Customised filters are also available on request.

You can always trust the intelligent protection system from PCH Engineering, and consequently, maximize the grid time of the wind turbine even under the toughest wind conditions.


Where to mount vibration sensors on wind turbines

The PCH 1026 turbine vibration monitor comes with several outputs and is highly customisable in terms of sensors.

Typically, the monitor is mounted in the nacelle from where it monitors the structural vibrations.

If necessary extra sensors can be added for multiple measuring points.

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Monitor bearing failure in centrifugal pumps


Most common defects in wind turbines

Some of the most common structural defects in wind turbines are: 

  • Too high tower acceleration
  • Tower damping problems
  • Yaw brake problems
  • Blade imbalance
  • Nacelle torsion
  • Gearbox torsion
  • Component looseness.

The PCH 1026 vibration monitor protects assets from these common structural failure modes, thereby maximising grid time for any given wind turbine.

Prevent turbine failure:

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