Much of the green electricity generated worldwide comes from wind turbines located on land or in the coastal foreshore of the oceans. The basic principle is simple: The wind sets the rotor blades of the wind turbine in motion. A generator then converts the kinetic energy of the wind into electrical energy—entirely without CO2 emissions.
The right sensor technology is essential for the safe and efficient operation of wind turbines. Whether for monitoring vibrations and rotational speeds or for position feedback, Pepperl+Fuchs offers a comprehensive portfolio of rotary encoders, vibration sensors, acceleration sensors and proximity sensors that are ideally suited for the harsh environmental conditions in wind energy.
Incremental rotary encoders are used in wind turbines to monitor the speed of the generator or rotor. For wind turbines located near the coast or on the high seas, Pepperl+Fuchs offers corrosion-resistant offshore variants that provide reliable measurement results under extreme conditions.
As part of the azimuth control, the absolute rotary encoders of the ENA58 series monitor the position of the nacelle so that it can be optimally aligned with the wind. For pitch control, the ENA58 also measures the rotor blade angle so that the rotor blades can be brought into a perfect position to the wind.
Whether gearboxes, generators or gear wheels: there are numerous rotating components inside wind turbines. Misalignment or friction effects can lead to wear-related damage over time, which is reflected in a changed vibration behavior. Vibration sensors from Pepperl+Fuchs detect such long-term changes in vibration velocity or acceleration. As a result, they enable predictive and targeted maintenance.
The F99 acceleration sensor from Pepperl+Fuchs is suitable for monitoring tower vibration: It records the vibration acceleration of the tower so that the loads acting on the tower are reliably documented.
Inductive sensors are used on wind turbines, for example, to detect the end position of the rotor blades during pitch control. For the demanding environmental conditions in wind energy, Pepperl+Fuchs offers particularly robust and durable sensor variants with a sensing face made of stainless steel and an extended temperature range. This ensures the safe and efficient operation of wind turbines.