Function check for yaw drives – "Yaw Monitoring" upgrade prevents costly repairs.

Yaw drives are subjected to high loads, particularly in wind turbine generator systems (WTGs) located at complex sites. Problems which arise in such drives often remain undetected. The failure of an actuator can subsequently cause a chain reaction, since the remaining drives are overloaded. The inevitable result is that other components will fail. Availon, the multibrand service provider, holds out the prospect of getting to grips with this kind of problem with a new upgrade (patent pending).

When the nacelle is being oriented in the wind direction by the yaw system, several stop functions ensure that the nacelle cannot turn out of the wind again. However, if e.g. the friction brakes of a motor fail as a result of inadequate maintenance, the full wind load acts on the remaining motors and therefore ultimately on the actuator gearbox.  

If a defect occurs in an actuator for this reason, all the other functional drives have to do its work. The gearboxes cannot withstand these loads in the long term with the result that damage cannot be avoided, especially if it remains undetected for a lengthy period.

The unique "Yaw Monitoring" upgrade from Availon GmbH now ensures that failures of actuator gearboxes of the yaw system no longer remain undetected, particularly in the case of turbines of the type Vestas® V80 and V90.

This new development guarantees an effective function check of the yaw drives, whereby a special concept enables the power consumption of the drive motors to be monitored and precise measurements made. Any discrepancies in comparison with normal operation can be immediately identified by means of these measurements and an error message sent to the operator of the turbine or the Remote Monitoring via a GSM module.

The "Yaw Monitoring" upgrade from Availon is available as of now and can be installed in approximately two hours. The load on the individual yaw drives can be determined from the initial measurements directly after installation of the upgrade.

"Vestas" is a registered trademark of Vestas Wind Systems A/S, DK.

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