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05 - September 2003

Special edition

The condition monitoring magazine of PRFTECHNIK AG and Flender Service GmbH

PRFTECHNIK and FLENDER SERVICE: Alliance in the wind

Condition monitoring now certified for wind power plants

The wind power industry has been confronted for some time with the socalled revision clause of the insurance companies. They require that the complete drive train of the wind power plant is subjected to a general overhaul after 40,000 operating hours or every 5 years at the latest unless one of the condition monitoring systems recognized by the insurance company is installed. Then for example longer revision periods and clearly improved profitability of the wind power plants can be achieved. A total of around 14,000 wind power plants in Germany alone are affected by the revision clause. Continued on page 2 Condition Monitoring application:

In this issue:
Condition monitoring now certified for wind power plants WPP gears: broken tooth avoided WinTControl goes offshore No easy job: Aligning drive trains in WPPs Measurement location selection and diagnostics in WPPs Basics on the measurement of frequency spectra News & exhibition dates

WPP gears: broken teeth avoided

Dr. Edwin Becker, Flender Service wind power plant of medium power with a change-pole generator was retrofitted with a standard condition monitoring system of a third party by the operating company. In September 2002, an initial preliminary diagnosis report was provided by this supplier, which led to a complaint to the drive train manufacturer in January 2003. The diagnostic report was forwarded to the specialists of Flender Service GmbH for evaluation. This included three frequency spectra from April 2002 and two frequency spectra, i.e. a 10 secondlong time wave form from August 2002. The visible pulses were very small and, unfortunately, no information was given on the measurement points and direction of measurement. The cause of the excitations was suspected by the Flender specialists to be

brinell pitmarks which particularly influence the envelope spectra. Condition analysis using Flender diagnostic technology was recommended. Mr Westhoff, After Sales Manager of Winergy AG, authorized Flender Service to carry out mobile analysis of the gear condition

The diagnosis of the condition of the gear trains of wind power plants (WPP) is a most difficult task. Gusts of wind can cause sudden severe load fluctuations which can significantly affect the vibration behaviour. Diagnosis requires detailed information on the gear construction, the excitation frequencies that can be expected and a measurement technique that uses higher frequency and amplitude resolution. Also, an expert with sufficient diagnositic and service experience must be available. In fact, mobile condition monitoring technology can be used for WPP with a fixed RPM, but it is better still to install a suitable online condition monitoring system right from the beginning. The following example illustrates how the use of an unsuitable condition monitoring system impeded reliable condition diagnosis and the affected drive train gear could be saved by Flender Service just before a tooth broke. However, one thing after the other. A

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and, if necessary, to perform a selective gear inspection using videoscopy. The initial date agreed for March 2003 for the on-site visit came about because of the lack of wind and the full calender of the parties involved. Before the inspection cover of the gear box was removed, measurements of the current condition were carried out using a DriveAnalysator. Strong acceleration excitations were visible in the envelope spectra, Cepstral analyses and in the time signals. As a result, an advanced local tooth damage was diagnosed on an intermediate shaft gear in the nacelle. Furthermore, the envelope spectra showed pulses from the output pinion gear that could be assumed to be standstill markings. Even after only a few glances two damaged teeth and the standstill markings could be seen during the gear inspection. The corner of a tooth was even threatening to break off. This confirmed the previous diagnosis made with the DriveAnalysator. The drive train was immediately brought to a halt in agreement with the plant manufacturer because the breakage of the corner of a tooth can lead to the immediate actual total loss of the gear. Unfortunately, the online system installed provided no information as to the trend of the damage and old data were no longer available. The gear unit was dismantled a week later by the plant manufacturer, and sent to Winergy AG in Voerde for further testing and repair. The diagnosis made in the nacelle was confirmed. The repair expense could be kept small due to the timely shutdown. The cause of damage was not clearly identifiable. Experience indicates that it is mostly short-time overloads during changeover, braking or during emergency stops which lead to such tooth damage.

Display of the tooth damage (see photo on right) in the time signal, in the Cepstrum and in the envelope spectrum.

8 Continued from page 1:

As the leading insurance company, Allianz has created a requirements index for Condition Monitoring systems on wind power plants. In order to be able to fulfill these requirements, PRFTECHNIK and Flender service have carried out extensive development work over recent months to adapt acceleration transducers as well as the hardware and firmware of WinTControl and OMNITREND to the special demands of the variable speed wind power plants. The development effort was concluded with certification by the Allianz Zentrum fr Technik (Allianz technology center). I

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PRFTECHNIK takes over the role of technology leader

WinTControl goes offshore

Roland Schhle, PRFTECHNIK Wind energy plants on land are much simpler to service than plants which are installed off the coast in the sea (offshore). The frequently adverse weather conditions in the North sea and the Baltic sea can impede or prevent the service team from travelling to the wind power plants to perform the necessary service work. However, if the installations have already come to a standstill as a result of defective machine parts, then, in addition to the costs of the repair, the standstill costs are also reflected in the profitability calculation. Therefore, in the case of an offshore installation, it is crucial to detect any defects at the earliest initial stage and to estimate the remaining running time of the machine part. Consequently, service visits can be planned to be cost effective - even taking the possible weather window into account. To reach this objective, new procedures which can be used to estimate the service life of the system and to optimize its availability must be developed for the diagnosis of damage and wear. For this reason, PRFTECHNIK Condition Monitoring got together with other system manufacturers, operators and institutes to form a research group within the framework of the CONMOW* program promoted by the EC and has fitted a wind power plant stationed on land with measurement technology. The system in Zoetermeer (NL) operated by SIEMENS complies for the most part with the planned offshore systems and is the system equipped with the most extensive monitoring technology in the world at the moment. The 1.5 MW wind turbine from General Electric works with a variable RPM and, thus, presents a new challenge to the diagnositic procedures of the online condition monitoring systems (WinTControl) that are employed. Two WinTControl systems are installed in the nacelle. The first system continuously records 30 characteristic values and operating parameters at a sampling rate of 30 Hz. The second system records dynamic signals at sampling rates of up to 150 kHz which are analyzed using new diagnosistic algorithms suitable for dynamic speed changes. The data from both systems are corellated in order to identify operating and damage patterns. The recorded and monitored measurement variables are

listed on page 4. The acceleration transducers were specially developed by PRFTECHNIK for use on wind turbines. They exhibit a linear characteristic in the frequency range of 0.1 Hz to 10 kHz. The measurement signal in the frequency range of 0.1 Hz to 10 Hz is also available with a sensitivity of 1000 mV/g, so the smallest signal amplitude in the low frequency range can be seen at a high resolution. In the second WinTControl system, the condition monitoring and the diagnostics are divided into three levels. At level 1, the monitoring is based on monitoring the limits of broadband characteristic vibration values, at level 2 on monitoring the limits of diagnostic characteristic values (frequency selective) and, at level 3, on the diagnosis of changes in condition (condition diagnosis) on the basis of ordertracked amplitude spectra, envelope spectra and Cepstra, as well as time analyses and special procedures. The system calculates vibration levels from broadband vibration measurements on the drive train. The gear mesh frequencies of individual gear stages, the rolling bearing frequencies of the main bearing and the generator bearings are calculated and monitored as diagnostic characteristic values (level 2). The recording of level 3 measurement data is programmed so that measurements are carried out under comparable conditions and the diagnoses are carried out automatically and independently as

*CONMOW = Condition Monitoring of Offshore Wind Turbines

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Glossary of technical terms

Did you know?
Telephone modem Telephone modems are used for the transfer of data over an analog telephone line. They can be connected in parallel to a voice telephone via the same telephone line, whereby only one of the two devices can use the line at the same time. The number of ring tones before the modem answers can be selected. Telephone modems are connected directly to the RS232 interface. ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) ISDN modems divide the copper wires of a conventional telephone into two digital transmission channels. The second transmission channel can be used for either a voice telephone or for doubling the transmission rate. Most exisiting telephone connections can be converted to ISDN operation. ISDN modems are connected directly to the RS232 interface. ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) ADSL modems divide the copper wires of a conventional telephone into three digital transmission channels. Two channels are used for data exchange with the Internet and one channel is used for telephoning. The Internet connection has a slower upstream channel for dealing with requests to servers and a downstream channel for receiving data from the Internet. ADSL is marketed in Germany as TDSL. ADSL modems are connected directly to the Ethernet interface. WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) WLAN is a radio network technology for data transmission. The transmission stations must be connected by line of sight. Basic modules with integrated antennae bridge distances of up to 400 m. Distances of several kilometers are possible with additional antennas. Obstacles can also be bridged by the installation of relay stations. As well as point-to-point connections, networks can be realized with WLAN. No costs arise from the data transmission and there are no registration formalities. WLAN is ideally suited to bridge the last mile of a telephone line and an online system. GSM (Global System for Mobile Communicatons) GSM is todays basic technology for mobile telephones and for mobile data transmission. GSM modems are connected directly to the RS232 interface. HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data) HSCSD modems increase the maximum amount of data to be transmitted per GSM channel. In order to reach a higher data transfer rate, HSCSD is bundled with up to four radio channels. Frequently this system is also known as HSMD (High Speed Mobile Data). HSCSD modems are directly connected to the RS232 interface.

soon as a characteristic value is exceeded. The dependency of the vibrations on the prevailing operating conditions is taken into account on the basis of comparative measurements. The current measurement values are compared with warning and alarm limits and, if a violation occurs, a warning message is automatically sent by eMail or SMS to selected persons. In addition, the specialist can establish a connection to the system, analyze previous trends and/or perform special analyses. Both WinTControl systems are connected with one another in the nacelle via Ethernet and connected to the Internet via ADSL modem. As a result, the data can be accessed by all project participants at any time using an Internet browser. This provides operators, manufacturers and also insurers with the opportunity to simply gain an overview of the running and operating behavior of the wind power plant. This installation puts PRFTECHNIK Condition Monitoring at the forefront to also develop important basics for condition diagnosis and availability optimization of offshore wind power plants and to offer reliable online Condition Monitoring systems. Because, with respect to the revision clauses of the insurer that have recently come into effect (see article page 1), many operators must now equip their offshore systems with the most modern monitoring technology in order to obtain insurance protection. I

Sensor components of the test system

WinTControl no. 1 30 channels, 30 Hz sampling rate, continuous
Temperature & currents of pitch motors Actual value & nominal angular setting of

the rotor blades

Blade moments in the X & Y direction Rotor RPM Azimuth angle Nacelle vibration in the X & Y direction Incorrect yaw angle Electrical performance Mechanical performance Wind speed Gear unit temperature Air temperature Air pressure

WinTControl no. 2 17 channels, sampling rate max. 150 kHz, triggered

Vibration at the main bearing Vibration at the intermediate shafts Vibration at the planetary stage Vibration at the generator RPM Phase position Generator performance Wind speed Main bearing temperature Gear unit temperature Generator temperature

The condition monitoring magazine


No easy job: Aligning drive trains in wind power plants

Johann Lsl, Ole Holstein, PRFTECHNIK The use of laser optical systems for the alignment of shafts in coupled machines and machine trains in industry has become state-of the-art over the last few years. They are also already in use in the shipping industry. In applications with a concrete foundation with few exceptions it can always be assumed that the alignment condition will not change or changes very little. There are applications where elastic foundation of the main diesel engine. This results in relatively large displacements so that highly flexible couplings or relatively long shafts have to be used. The displacements are in the millimeter range. Alignment target offsets are provided by diesel and gear manufacturers so that alignment can be carried out for operation at the zero position. As a result, the working range of the coupling surement area of the alignment system. With InfiniRange severe misalignments and large distances are not a problem. Wind power must be used to rotate the shaft. This makes it difficult to move to defined 90 measurement locations. The patented EZ-sweep

thermal expansion must also be considered and alignment guidelines, either according to manufacturer data or as a result of experience and measurements, must also be taken into account. In addition, standard alignment tolerances are available for different RPMs. In the case of ships, there are other aspects to consider and the expression: alignment only in the early morning sun! holds true. The background to this is the warming up of the hull and the

is fully exploited. The alignment of the gear and generator of a WPP presents a comparable situation whereby there are also other additional problems to solve and difficult boundary conditions that have to be taken into account: Mounting the sensor components is difficult because the space is restricted by the brake. In cases of more severe misalignment, the laser beam can leave the mea-

Recommended alignment tolerances

Parallel displacement

RPM 1500 3000

Tolerance [mm] Acceptable Excellent 0.09 0.06 0.06 0.03

Angular displacement (angular gap) Gap width referred to coupling diameter 100 mm

3000 1500

0.06 0.07

0.03 0.05

mode measurement records data while the shaft is rotating and just 60 of rotation is possible. Our experience dependent on the different types of WPP: The deformation of the nacelle plays a role in the alignment. Any change in the wind direction and wind strength can influence the alignment results. Depending on the operating mode, the generator and gear may be at different positions to one another during operation. The generator may sink over time due to aging of the vibration damper so that manufacturer data are required for corrections. With a little experience, it is quite possible to carry out alignment of the generator and gear while they are at a standstill. However, the question then arises as to whether this is also optimum for longer time periods or for different operating states. The optimum condition for alignment is obtained when the minimum reset forces of the coupling are reached during the normal operating state. Alignment data can be obtained either from the manufacturer of the WPP or as the result of measurements. WinTControl allows the optional connection of sensor components for the continuous monitoring of the alignment condition (PERMALIGN). This makes it possible to record the alignment condition depending on the operating state and the vibration behavior of the WPP . These measurements can be used to provide alignment target offsets for optimization of the shaft alignment. I

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Condition Monitoring basics

Measurement locations and diagnostics in WPPs

Dr. Edwin Becker, Flender Service Classically, the choice of measurement locations assumes that the vibration conditions are measured at bearing positions in the main directions, vertical, horizontal and axial. This procedure is required by some standards. However, in the wind power branch, this would mean that at least 18 acceleration transducers would have to be mounted in the case of simple gear trains with main transmission gears. For cost reasons, WPP operators are not prepared to install so many sensors and measurement locations. The mounting of the transducer at the correct measurement point is essential for the reliability of the diagnosis. This is illustrated by some FEM calculation results (Finite Element Method) for a typical gear unit in a wind power plant shown in the three figures that appear below. Depending on the transmission properties of the housing, discrete excitation frequencies at different measurement points vary distinctly. The red range corresponds to the housing measurement points with the highest intensity (vibration speed in mm/s). Therefore, the choice of the correct measurement locations always represents a technical compromise and may require a great deal of experience. For the selection of measurement locations, Flender Service uses their experience in FEM calculations, test bench measurements and countless mobile measurement deployments on wind power plants. Meanwhile, the minimum number of sensors was specified by the Allianz insurance company and by Germani-

Amplitude spectra, envelope spectra with variable parameterization and Cepstren with a higher resolution Time wave forms / resonance frequencies Characteristic diagnostic values (v, a, env, cep) Characteristic vibration values (v, a, env, cep)

Amplitude spectra Intrinsic frequencies Characteristic diagnositic values Vibration characteristic values

scher Lloyd. The figure shown above illustrates how WinTControl is used. The diagnostic algorithms used also appear in the picture. The rolling bearings of generators, gears and main bearings, the toothing of the planetary stage(s) and helical gear stage(s) and the gondola, tower and special machine vibrations are monitored. In the case of variable speed systems, order spectra are used as standard. More details can be obtained under I

Fig.: Minimum number of sensors and diagnositic algorithms used

Fig.: FEM calculation results which display different housing structure vibrations at three sample frequencies

6 6

The condition monitoring magazine

Condition Monitoring basics

Basic rules for the measurement of frequency spectra

Dr. Jrg Deckers, Flender Service

Part 5: Calculating the excitation frequencies of planetary meshing

Like all elements of a drive train, gear units also have a tendency to vibrate. Vibrations excited by toothing are caused by changes to the load parameters on the teeth over the gear meshing distance. These periodical, strongly load-dependent and speed dependent vibration excitations also occur in perfect gear units. A comparison of the frequency excitations to be expected during an optimum run with the spectra measured on running gears allows the safe evaluation of the gear mesh condition. While the calculation of excitation frequencies in helical gears from gear- and speed information is still relatively simple, the calculation of kinematic frequency excitations of complex planetary

Fig.: Vibration velocity spectrum of a planetary transmission with many harmonics from internal gear damage

Sun gear Planetary carrier

Planet Counting teeth, RPM (example: stationary internal gear) Sun gear: z 1; nS [min-1] Planetary gears: z2; nP [min-1] Internal gear: z 3; Planetary carrier: nT [min -1] Number of planets: k Translation: i=z1/(z1+z3) Excitation frequencies Rotational frequencies Sun gear

Fig. Typical drive train gear

Planetary gears

monics of the gear meshing in the frequency spectrum and pass frequencies and also to sidebands at a multiple of the damage frequency. In the diagnosis of planetary damage, the situation is aggravated by the fact that the special kinematics also causes a modulation effect even when the teeth are not damaged because the intermeshing planets cyclically approach the acceleration transducer fixed on the gear unit and move away again. Also, the pass frequencies are mostly very low frequencies which requires correspondingly long measurement times and suitable frequency analysis techniques. The resulting damage can be particularly well detected using envelope analysis although permanent online analysis with trend monitoring is recommended in order to record changes in condition that are already slight. I

gears proves to be considerably more time consuming. The adjacent info box lists the underlying calculation formulas for planetary gears with a fixed internal gear ring. Planetary gear units can also be operated in such a way that the planet carrier stands still, the sun gear stands still or even all gears turn (3-shaft operation). The current trend in gear trains is for two planetary stages to be arranged one after the other with a fixed internal gear. According to type and prominence, toothing faults can cause an amplitude modulation and/or phase modulation of the gear mesh frequency. Usually, this leads to an increase of the higher har-

Carrier Gear meshing frequency

Our next issue focuses on conveyor technology:

Overrun frequencies Sun gear

CM applications: Problem analysis on a bucket wheel excavator in the Amazon Technology: Experience with the application of wireless LAN in the telediagnosis of conveyor systems. Application: Condition monitoring of Polish giant strip mining equipment using modern Internet technology.

Planetary gears

Internal gear

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Analyzing oil quality
Flender Service is offering a new service the analysis of oil quality. Especially the addition of EP and AW (ExtremePressure, AntiWear) additives has been tested in the case of high performance gear oils. This uses a new innovative measurement method which will shortly be released onto the market. Through the analysis of the smell alone, the type of oil which is used can be recognized, to indicate whether an inadmissible mixture is present or whether further addition is still OK. On the basis of our analysis, the operator of a WPP must be advised to dispose of his replacement oil, as a separation of the lubricant in the tank took place probably through the effects of the cold. Interested? Then contact us today!I

Mobile DriveAnalysator now for variable RPM WPP

Our new DriveAnalysator has mastered its first application for RPM-variable WPPs in Norway. It is especially suitable for troubleshooting or for WPP with sufficient wind and an instant onsite evaluation by diagnostic specialists. The DriveAnalysator is configured as a 6-channel analyzer and determines order spectra. I

WinTControl goes OMNITREND

The WinTControl System is fully compatible with the OMNITREND PC software: Besides the display and storing of the measurement data and status information in an Access or Oracle database, OMNITREND also enables the programming of WinTControl system. However, a permanent connection with OMNITREND is not required, because WinTControl as its own intelligent system buffers the results as well as the alarm evaluation and can carry out all resulting actions independently. I

Major order for Flender Service and PRFTECHNIK

Nordex AG decided on WinTControl after extensive tests and system comparisons and called for the first online system. Crucial for this decision was the special service know-how and the possibilities of WinTControl, also monitoring of RPMvariable drive trains. An outline agreement was made between Flender Service and PRFTECHNIK Condition Monitoring regarding the delivery of 300 WinTControl systems ready for installation.

smartSCANNER the practical 3-in-1 solution

for vibration analysis for balancing and for shaft alignment

New wind sensor with a linear characteristic above 0.1 Hz

PRFTECHNIK AG has developed a new acceleration transducer especially for use in wind power plants, which has a linear characteristic in the frequency range of 0.1 Hz to 10 kHz. This provides measurement signals for rotor blade diagnosis which, for example, provide comparable amplitudes over the complete RPM range and can be processed with a single sensor type. Also, all demands of the insurer (Allianz) can be fulfilled using a single type of sensor. I

Now all together in one handy device!

PRFTECHNIK AG Postfach 12 63 85730 Ismaning Tel: 089-99616-0 Fax: 089-99616-200 eMail: Flender Service GmbH Sdstrasse 111 44623 Herne Tel: 02323-940-220 Fax: 02323-940-229 e-Mail:

PRFTECHNIK AG and Flender Service:

Visit us at the following international trade shows and exhibitions:

Windmesse Husum 23. - 27. 09. 2003, Hall 2, Stand B230 7th. AZT expert day 2003 10. - 11. 11. 2003 in Ismaning The latest dates are given on our Internet website.

The frequency pattern of the new wind transducer is linear above 0.1 Hz