Full Title: The Future of Wind Energy is Now: Smart Technologies Ensure Safe, Secure Connections
Author(s): Nord-Lock Group
Publisher(s): Nord-Lock Group
Publication Date: May 1, 2023
Full Text: Download Resource
A large inland or offshore wind farm could incorporate 100,000 or more bolted joints in wind turbines that must stay tightened to the correct preload. But as wind turbine sizes become larger and require bigger bolts, bolted joints are becoming more difficult to install and maintain. Traditional methods to ensure they are tightened to the correct preload, such as using torque wrenches, are time-consuming and prone to inaccuracies. This is especially challenging for a wind farm’s maintenance team, usually staffed with only five or six workers, that must perform continual checks on the bolted joints of every turbine.
Cutting-edge advancements, however, represent a game-changer in installation and maintenance for wind farms around the world. Leading the pack in such modernizations are smart technologies. Smart technologies make it possible now to install sensors on each joint to monitor its set preload parameters remotely, with data transmitted via Wi-Fi or cloud-based technology to a smartphone or computer dashboard.
This specific capability, known as remote preload monitoring, makes data available 24/7. It enables maintenance teams to quickly determine if each bolted joint was tightened fully during installation, if it’s still tight and exactly how tight it is.