Sebastian Eicke, Head of Export Sales Electronic at KEB Automation
WE’VE GOT THE HANG OF IT
WIND TURBINES: DRIVING THE ENERGY TRANSITION FORWARD
The energy transition is a global challenge – and KEB is helping to implement it. KEB has been active in the field of wind power for over two decades, and has equipped over 40,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines around the world with its technology. Together, they generate approximately 80 GW of power. This is enough to supply around 64 million households with electricity.
On the pathway towards finding a more sustainable energy supply that is free of fossil fuels, wind power is of critical importance. Indeed, wind farms are the biggest contributor to renewable energies. Onshore, near the coast or Offshore, they generate environmentally-friendly energy. When it comes to drive technology and system controls, many turbine manufacturers rely on KEB Automation. Our extensive product portfolio is available for equipping wind farms that generate up to 15 megawatts of electricity.
Strongly positioned in the core areas of pitch and yaw, KEB offers certified drive controllers that optimally adjust the rotor blades or nacelle to the direction of the wind. Motors in various performance classes and tailor-made spring-applied brakes, such as the COMBISTOP, round off the complete package.
- Certified solutions for pitch and yaw
- Onshore and offshore applications
- Equipment for wind farms up to 15 MW
Space-saving pitch inverters such as the COMBIVERT P6 reliably adjust rotor blades and are universally applicable and robust. At the same time, the P6 is not just an inverter but an all-in-one-drive controller, which combines a charger for the backup system as well as a fully-fledged PLC. In addition, KEB offers corresponding motors and brakes, which are used in the world’s largest wind farms – both onshore and offshore. With countless options available for configuring and monitoring the system, KEB’s products and solutions always ensure the smooth, efficient and safe operation of wind turbines.
Functional safety in pitch applications
If faults occur in the wind turbine or in the electrical network, safety always comes first. If safety-critical conditions or errors occur within the pitch system, the pitch inverters carry out a safety run independently of the controls. During this process, the rotor blades are turned out of the wind safely and quickly. In this way, the COMBIVERT P6 pitch inverter protects the turbine from dangerous excess rotation speeds. As TÜV Rheinland confirms: the safety run achieves performance level (PL) d in accordance with EN ISO 13849-1.
Support during programming tasks, flexible components for customer-specific requirements and assistance when commissioning the COMBIVERT P6 – choose the right software package for your needs. Standard functions for the pitch inverter are integrated into the basic version of our pitch library. In addition, the “extended pitch library” contains predefined functional modules for typical tasks of a pitch system. So all you have to do is program the turbine-specific interfaces. KEB can also write a customer program tailored to your specific requirements.
The pitch library offers all this and more, and is currently available in two versions:
Identify maintenance needs in good time: cutting-edge monitoring functions ensure that the necessary maintenance tasks can be carried out at an early stage on brakes, energy storage systems and fans. This minimises unwanted downtimes. However, if a failure should occur, a freely programmable data logger enables retrospective fault diagnosis via remote access. Countless field bus solutions ensure smooth, real-time connection of the pitch system to the turbine’s controls.
Holding brakes for pitch system solutions
In addition to climate resistance and corrosion protection, torque and temperature stability are constant requirements in the field of wind turbine rotors. Installation heights over 1,000 metres above sea level and vibration resistance are also important framework conditions for components in wind farms. KEB’s holding brakes are designed, adapted and produced specifically for the individual application.
With KEB’s yaw system solutions, the turbine is always aligned with the wind. The multiple-axis controller, which includes drive monitoring, ensures 360-degree yaw control. This means that nacelles can be adjusted flexibly with little wear, ensuring that the wind turbine is always facing the right direction.
KEB’s regulated drive controllers not only guarantee smooth starting and braking of the nacelle, but also ensure uniform torque distribution. This reduces mechanical loading not only on the drive train but also on the tower structure, thereby increasing the service life. The generation of defined holding torques at a standstill, and the reduction of torsional moment are further advantages of KEB’s yaw system solution.
Our wide selection of drive functions ensures that you get the most out of your yaw system solution. For example, the yaw motion control enables joint operation of all drives in speed-controlled mode with uniform torque distribution. The one-off calibration of a reference position is all it takes to ensure continuous detection of the yaw angle. Countless field bus solutions allow for smooth, real-time connection of the yaw system to the turbine’s controls.
Want to keep an eye on everything? This is possible thanks to the drive system’s monitoring functions and a specially developed yaw library. This clearly presents all relevant drive data and error messages. For example, you might detect a gear breakage with the help of the “Gearbox Monitoring” module. It is also possible to monitor the motor cable, e.g. to check for cable breakage, via a special module. If a fault does occur, the stored fault history and a freely programmable data logger help with the diagnostics – also via remote access.
Save energy while reducing the installation workload at the same time. DC interconnection makes sure of this and more, while paving the way for exchanging energy with other frequency inverters. Only one AC power supply is required for the DC coupling. KEB’s drives are freely scalable and designed for universal use. This gives the user maximum efficiency and flexibility in the actual application. An added advantage is that eliminating braking resistors reduces heat build-up and ensures less space is needed in the control cabinet.
Holding brakes for Yaw system solutions
Minimal downtimes, maximum fail-safety, climate resistance and corrosion protection are not uncommon in the area of wind turbine nacelles. Thanks to KEB’s customized holding brakes, the high requirements of the customer’s specifications are met, and operating costs are reduced at the same time.