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First plug-in on the market to measure unbalance

Successful testing of the Blade Unbalance Calculator.

In BKW’s Bockelwitz wind farm the prototype was successfully tested (Source: Bachmann Electronic)

  • Prototype successfully provides plant operator with regular updates on balance condition.
  • The assessment of unbalance becomes fast and cost effective.
  • Blade Unbalance Calculator will be launched to the market in June.

After successful testing of the prototype, a new plug-in to Bachmann’s Condition Monitoring System provides plant operators with regular updates on the balance condition of their wind turbines’ blades. This makes the condition monitoring specialist from Germany the first wind energy supplier to provide a measurement of unbalance without a lengthy and expensive process. In field tests with development partner BKW Wind Service GmbH involving mass addition to blades, the calculated unbalance has shown excellent agreement with the weight actually fitted. The product, by the name Blade Unbalance Calculator, will be launched to the market mid-June and will be seen at the Wind Energy Hamburg trade show.

The plug-in to the CMS runs to provide an estimate of the mass unbalance in kgm, based upon a few structural parameters and the output from a tower sensor fitted at the centre of the nacelle. Not only does the output provide a direct measure of balance quality, it also distinguishes between aerodynamic and mechanical effects, ensuring plant operators prepare for the correct maintenance action.

Studies by BerlinWind GmbH suggest that up to 50 percent of wind turbines suffer from undue unbalance on the rotor” remarks David Futter, product manager at Bachmann Monitoring GmbH. “We estimate that today the majority of turbines running with moderate unbalance remain undetected. Only an extended full survey would be able to assess them” David Futter explains. That is lengthy and expensive, but the implications of an undetected unbalance are also severe: increased fatigue loads on the entire structure, including the tower and nacelle, as well as the drivetrain components. Providing a cost-effective estimate of the balance quality allows owners to target those wind turbines where balancing will make a significant improvement to the operational life.

The impact of the Blade Unbalance Calculator on the cost reduction of offshore wind energy is currently being tested as part of the EU joint research project ROMEO.


About Bachmann Monitoring GmbH

Bachmann Monitoring GmbH is based in Rudolstadt (Thuringia, Germany) and was established in 1998 with the name μ-Sen. The 50-employee company developed the world’s first condition monitoring system integrated into the control systems of wind turbines. A team of specialist data analysts monitors the condition of the turbines and detects complex fault patterns at an early stage. Its customers include operational management companies, energy producers and turbine manufacturers.

About BKW Wind Service GmbH a wholly-owned subsidiary of BKW AG

The BKW Group is a Bern-based international energy and infrastructure company employing more than 6,000 people. Its company network and extensive expertise allow it to offer its customers a full range of overall solutions. The Group plans, builds and operates infrastructure to produce and supply energy to businesses, households and the public sector, and offers digital business models for renewable energies. Today, the BKW Group portfolio comprises everything from engineering consultancy and planning for energy, infrastructure and environmental projects, through integrated offers in the field of building technology, to the construction, servicing and maintenance of energy, telecommunications, transport and water networks.


Press Contact

Catherine Diethelm
Corporate Communication

+43 (0)55 22 / 34 97-1161