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Energy Solutions

Smart wind turbine maintenance cuts operating costs in half

German machine manufacturer Schaeffler and Italian transmission specialist Bonfiglioli have developed a predictive maintenance system for yaw-driven wind turbines that is expected to considerably reduce operating costs.

16 Aug. 2019
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Smart wind turbine maintenance cuts operating costs in half (photo: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG)

The TorqueSense and the SmartCheck sensors from Schaeffler capture the torque, speed, vibrations, and temperature of the yaw-driven gearboxes produced by Bonfiglioli for the joint project . The resulting data is transmitted via a gateway and processed using Bonfiglioni algorithms. The company’s cloud platform makes the data accessible to users while a dashboard presents the information in a clearly organized manner.

This allows the operating personnel to continuously monitor the motor’s condition, while the algorithms estimate the drive’s residual service life. Any behavior of the yaw drive deviating from the standard is reported alongside critical conditions. The data helps the wind turbine operator adapt maintenance intervals to actual demand and carry out necessary repairs at suitable times. According to estimates by Schaeffler and Bonfiglioni, the new system can reduce the operating costs of wind turbines by up to 60%.

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