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RFID | New Option For Measurement Data Acquisition In The Field of Wind Energy

Use Cases | By PR RFID im Blick | 24 June 2013

Wind energy plants: engine pods at the test facility

The Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) engineers the first large scale test stand for complete engine pods of wind energy plants in Germany by the end of 2014. Provided with ten megawatts, propulsion power manufacturers will be enabled to check and optimize their plant concepts. „Developing wind energy plants requires large amounts of measurement data at very high clock rates. RFID could provide developers with new options for measurement data acquisition“ explains Andreas Ruhle, scientist at the Fraunhofer IWES in the interview with „RFID im Blick“.

Mr Ruhle, how do you rate the use potentials of RFID technology in the field of wind energy?

Within our field of activity we're dealing with developing and testing wind energy plants. Considered as a model we are often dealing with two „control circuits“: One of them includes the development and the testing section. Within this control circuit calculations and theoretical assumptions are validated. The second control circuit deals with the question: „What happens when the system is in field? Are the loading assumptions correct?“ As wind energy industry is now undergoing a hard course of consolidation, OEMs must control both circuits optimally and enlarge their system knowledge to extend this technical competitive edge. Both control circuits require large amounts of measurement data. Within this field I see potential for the use of RFID technology. Combined with sensors it can provide new ways to the OEM to acquire more data, even at spots where fixed wiring has been uneconomic or even impossible until now.

Which concrete szenarios are conceivable from your point of view or are already known in practice?

RFID technology is already used combined with temperature sensors, pressure sensors, strain sensors or acceleration sensors as well as in combination with sensors providing digital information. From practice I know especially temperature monitoring of rotating constituent parts or such parts difficult to access.

How can RFID support monitoring and test scenarios at the engine pod test stand concretely?

Depending on the application measurement data is detected with very high clock rates in the field of development and testing, – namely in the range of milliseconds. Additionally there are measurement spots which will only be read, if it is required. RFID technology can provide developers with new options and more freedom. Thus the state of functional constituent parts can be monitored, which are for instance embedded into synthetic resin.

Will RFID play a role in the planned engine pod test stand as well?

The test stand can be regarded as a part of the two control circuits. As there hasn't been a test stand of such a complexity and size in Germany until now, it is a prototype itself. This prototype needs to be monitored and validated. Considering some of the construction parts we are going to push the limits of what is currently feasible. We will for example use a new kind of torque bearing for force transmission. This torque bearing will be equipped with a complex monitoring system. RFID is one option we're considering.

The article was published in the May issue of the magazine „RFID im Blick“.

Last modified on Saturday, 24 October 2015 22:12
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