They can be found on land, near the coast or offshore: wind turbines. Environmentally friendly and efficient, they are an important part of the energy transformation. KEB Automation has the solution for the pitch and yaw systems in various power ranges with robust drive and control technology. But what exactly must the system be able to do?
For years, newly built wind turbines – especially offshore turbines– have tended to have higher outputs. KEB equips wind turbines that generate up to 15 megawatts. And also in general it can be seen: the importance of wind power as a source of renewable energy continues to grow. In China alone, the leader ahead of the United States and Germany in terms of installed wind power capacity, a total of 288,000 megawatts is generated by wind turbines according to the Global Wind Energy Council (as of 2020).
Robust against all weathers
For the alignment of the rotor blades and the nacelle in the wind, KEB has been supplying coordinated solutions for the pitch or yaw function for two decades. "We have an extensive product portfolio with which we can easily meet the requirements that pitch and yaw bring with them," says Sebastian Eicke, Application Engineer Wind Energy at KEB. "Resistance to vibrations or to extreme temperatures, which we find offshore in particular, demand a high degree of robustness from our products such as the COMBIVERT P6 pitch converter."
Supplemented by motors and spring-applied brakes, the inverters ensure the correct alignment of the rotor blades in the wind, and in doing so they face a particular challenge: preventing dangers before they arise. If the turbine control system detects critical conditions within the turbine, the task is to bring the rotor blades into the safe vane position. "Wind direction and strength can change quickly. To prevent the turbine from overspeeding during a storm, for example, the KEB pitch system safely shuts down the turbine via the TÜV-certified safety run," says Eicke.
Flexible wind tracking
The yaw function, the adjustment of the turbine nacelle, is also a task for KEB's drive controllers, motors and brakes. Here, the multi-axis control offers the greatest possible flexibility in wind tracking. In addition, the rotation of the nacelle with KEB solutions is particularly low-wear. This reduces downtimes and saves costs.