Checking rotors under load conditions
The IFE offers its customers a new and efficient test process with laser-based geometry measurement. The dimensional stability of rotor blades can be inspected quickly and safely in operation under load conditions.
The IFE’s Inspection Centre has been using the new measuring process for six months. “The rotor is the key component of a wind turbine,” explains Michaels Helms, Head of the IFE Inspection Centre. “Laser-based geometry measurement enables us to reliably check blade angle position without the need to disconnect the system from the grid.”
The definitive measuring result shows immediately whether the blade angles are within the tolerance range defined by Germanischer Lloyd. A system can only deliver its full capacity with an optimum blade angle. Misalignments can also lead to increased vibrations and have an adverse impact on the entire system.
The measurements are carried out from the ground. The rotor blades are simultaneously scanned at two sections with two laser measuring lengths and the tower vibrations are also recorded. The process is suitable for almost all types of turbine and can also be performed independent of the weather. The wind turbine remains in operation during the entire measurement.
Over a quarter of all turbines were outside the tolerance range with the measurements taken to date. The blade angles and thus also the distribution of aerodynamic loads can be optimised on the basis of this measurement.
“Laser-based geometry measurement is advisable during commissioning or even just prior to expiry of the warranty,” explains Pascal Habakuck, Managing Director of IFE. It can be performed without significant expenditure and loss of yield and delivers precise results about the geometry of the rotor. “It saves our customers money and worry. Ultimately a turbine can only produce the expected performance with perfectly aligned rotor blades,” Pascal Habakuck goes on to say.
The cost-effective measuring process can be used as a stand-alone process and as an integral part of other tests and inspections. The Ingenieurgesellschaft für Energieprojekte IFE Inspection Centre is happy to be on hand to advise customers, both in terms of the actual inspection itself as well as with supervising and managing any realignment of rotor blades that may prove to e necessary,