Why did you need to change?
As operators we were faced with the insolvency of Senvion and the challenge that we only had very restricted access to the controllers of our wind turbines. The access level available to us only offered display functions. The termination of service contracts by the liquidator meant that we had little opportunity to operate and maintain our plant.
Did the company suffer any damage?
If the plant has a fault that causes the shutdown of the plant, the income from energy production is lost. As the access to the plant available makes it impossible to rectify the fault, the risks involved can be a total shutdown since the banks providing the finance can no longer be served. Senvion had denied access to our property.
How did you come across Bachmann?
Fortunately, the OEM had not used its own controller hardware, and the name Bachmann was written on the controller. The direct approach of the technically-minded operator then led straight to the PLC manufacturer. We asked here straightaway whether it was possible to provide us with access to our wind turbine.
What was your experience of the collaboration? What were the highlights?
Bachmann sales responded very quickly and initial personal contact was made at the 2019 Husum Wind fair. Since the initial contact, Bachmann has always been ready to listen to our problems and our requirements as operators. Bachmann recognized immediately that we were looking for a legal solution to manage access to our plants on our own. It was always clear to us and to Bachmann that a new solution was necessary that did not require access to the existing passwords of the plant manufacturer.
How long did it take to implement a solution?
As operators we were naturally impatient and could hardly wait for the initial test installation in December. Bachmann appreciated this and always did all it could to meet the deadline. We never had the feeling that we were being left out in the rain. All the contacts at Bachmann could always be reached and were able to help us.
What is the result?
We now have full access to the controller of our wind turbine, and this enables us to maintain and operate our plant on our own. We are now able to start and stop the plant on our own and implement the necessary measures for restarting the plant in the event of a fault. Direct remote access to our plants is now considerably faster than the previous solution via the web portal. We can now also at last ensure that only those persons have access to the controller system of our wind turbines who are authorized to do so. The different access levels also enable to us clearly assign responsibilities according to the appropriate level of training. Personnel who are solely responsible for operating the plant can thus be granted a lower access level. We can likewise now exclude users who are required to no longer have access to the plant. We can thus lock the “door”.
What are the benefits compared to a retrofit (customer view)?
The plant controller is part of the type certification. We are obliged to operate the plant in accordance with the type certification. The idea of replacing the entire controller was therefore not even considered. This solution meets our plant access requirements precisely without affecting any controller functions related to certification.
»As operators with a technical background we are now able to carry out our operational management and maintenance of our Senvion plants ourselves. For us, this also results in cost savings during ongoing operation. Particularly in extreme weather conditions, we can reconnect our wind turbines considerably faster to the network than plants supervised by large remote monitoring centers. These cases involve considerably longer downtimes. As operators we can now provide our own support here. A first step in the right direction has now been completed. The next thing we would like is to have a vendor neutral visualization solution for the remote monitoring of our wind turbines. Bachmann was definitely the right choice! Compared to other controller manufacturers, Bachmann has the best solution focus.«
Ulrich Kreuzberger, CEO of KS-Energiesysteme
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INDEPENDENT ACCESS SOLUTIONS FOR SENVION WIND TURBINES