One of the biggest challenges a wind turbine designer must face is to guarantee that the product achieves its target design life taking into account all the variability in the operating conditions. As a consequence, the extreme load cases oversize the design, therefore increasing both weight and cost of the critical wind turbine components such as blades and power train.

On the other hand, increasing the hub height and the rotor diameter will introduce asymmetric loading to the wind turbine components due to inhomogeneities of the incoming wind field along the blade span. Therefore, service life of the components will be reduced and their design requirements will have to be oversized.

INDEOL has developed an individual pitch control for wind turbine blades which is based on current individual loads on each blade. Blade loads are measured by an optical fibre system and they are transmitted to a separate control system which, in turn, will guide each blade in such a way that extreme load conditions are avoided. Thus, both maintenance cost and design requirements can be reduced and blade service life can be extended.

The system brings considerable benefits:

  • It consists of an integral system which includes the load sensing system, the control box and the data processing system for maintenance management.
  • It is separated from the wind turbine PLC. Therefore, system stability will not be compromised and wind turbine control design will remain undisclosed.
  • It can be used on operating wind turbines or it can be integrated into new wind turbine designs.
  • It is independent from the wind turbine main control system.
  • It can be connected or disconnected while the wind turbine is in operation.
  • It is compatible with other monitoring systems.
  • It captures and stores data for wind turbine health monitoring.