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VCOM-W 1C for Inspection Based Monitoring

The WCOM-W 1C is a portable version of the basic VCOM-W system, which means that data from a number of turbines can be captured using a single unit. The primary application for this type of system is as part of a scheduled inspection programme, whereby a single sample of data is taken from each turbine. This data sample is then processed to provide a snapshot assessment of the turbine health at the time the data was taken.

The system can utilise any number of the 16 available vibration channels, but typically either 8 or 16 are used. The system employs magnetic accelerometers mounts for rapid set up and break down, as well as an optical speed probe with a separate magnetic stand. The system is controlled from a laptop computer using a dedicated software package, which in addition to the basic control functions has a graphical interface that provides an immediate visual check on the data as it is gathered.

Wireless Control

VCOM-W 1C Wireless Control One additional and important feature of the WCOM-W 1C is its wireless control option. In recent years, the development of health and safety legislation has increasingly prohibited service personnel from being in the turbine whilst it is running. This has significantly limited the use of conventional portable systems, as they are normally controlled from a wired connection inside the nacelle. Specifically for this reason, the WCOM-W 1C system incorporates an additional wireless interface, which allows the system to be controlled from the ground using the same laptop and software. This means that the system can be used regardless of whether access to a running turbine is allowed or not.

Level of Protection

When used as part of an inspection programme, the system provides an indication of the state of health of the turbine at a very low cost compared to a permanently installed system. However, it is also true to say that the level of coverage provided by this type of monitoring is much lower than for a permanent system.

For one thing, data is only captured at very infrequent intervals (normally once a year at most), which means that it is perfectly possible for faults to develop and run to failure between measurement points.

Secondly, the usefulness of the data depends heavily on the wind conditions at the time of inspection. Indeed, if there is not enough wind to turn the turbine, then no data will be captured at all. So whilst this monitoring method provides an excellent means of reducing the risk of component failure at very low cost, it is in no way equivalent to a permanent system.

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VCOM-W 1C Offline System
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