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Functionality investigation and expansion of 5kW wind turbine yaw and vibration sensors

Chen, Leshan (2017) Functionality investigation and expansion of 5kW wind turbine yaw and vibration sensors. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Obstacles such as trees and buildings contribute to variable wind speeds and directions which may lead to wind turbine tower and nacelle yaw fatigue. This impacts on the performance and safety of wind turbines. Therefore, finding some methods to measure and monitor wind turbine tower vibration and yaw behaviour were motivations for conducting this research. In this project, the existing yaw and tower vibration sensors on a 5kW Westwind wind turbine were investigated. These consisted of a Hall Effect yaw sensor and a tower accelerometer. The existing Hall Effect sensor was only able to measure yaw rotating speed by counting the number of pulses the target wheel gear passed by the Hall Effect sensor. In order to have a better understanding of the effect of variable wind speed on yaw fatigue, it is recommended to update this yaw monitoring system to measure both yaw rotating speed and direction. It is possible to achieve this goal by using two Hall Effect sensors to distinguish a phase shift. Therefore, replacing the existing Hall Effect sensor to a new sensor with two Hall Effect sensors or installing an additional sensor similar to the existing Hall Effect sensor are two options to measure both yaw gear rotating speed and direction. However, the optional yaw sensor was not ordered or installed because of timing issues. It should be ordered and installed for future work. In addition to updating the yaw sensor, the turbine sensor’s cable needs to be replaced as well since it was broken. Once repaired, it is recommended to continue with the existing accelerometer to measure tower vibration.

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor(s): Whale, Jonathan
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