Perfectly Tailored Retrofit

The operation of older wind turbines is time-consuming and expensive: Unproductive downtimes accumulate due to failures and maintenance work, and replacement components may no longer be available. In addition, access and parameterization options are limited. And so, yields decrease. With Bachmann's proven retrofit solution, producers remain competitive by increasing productivity and extending the service life of the plant.

More than 130,000 turbine controls installed worldwide is testament enough: Bachmann's automation solutions more than meet the diverse requirements of wind energy plants. This also applies to their modular controller retrofit solutions – already a winner of best technological innovation for wind energy plants at the WEU O&M Excellence Awards. Each turbine retrofit is designed to increase performance and availability, and reduce plant load – extending service life and improving safety. Bachmann’s experts consider individual control strategies for each turbine model, behavior in the event of a fault, and the wind farm’s operational strategy. 


Higher yields

With a retrofit solution, system speed and pitch can be easily adjusted to current needs via secure, web-based remote access. The yaw system and main shaft brake can also be controlled manually. In the event of balancing requirements from grid operators, the Bachmann solution’s definable power setpoints significantly improve the power curve of wind farms, increasing cumulative energy yield and avoiding an entire plant shutdown (see Factbox). In low wind conditions, the intelligent controller also reduces self-consumption, leading to lower operating costs. 

On grid for longer

Automatic self-start routines bring the turbine back online automatically and at record speed after grid disturbances, and a manual plant reset can be carried out remotely. A turbine retrofit with Bachmann opens up the possibility of condition monitoring for primary components, such as drive trains, gearboxes and rotor blades. Online diagnostics with Weblog, Bachmann’s condition monitoring system, supports early-stage damage detection and targeted on-site maintenance scheduling, and extends plant service life. It can also help optimize operational strategies and increase annual energy production. For drivetrain faults, the system's detection rate is a remarkable 99%. 

Precisely-tuned retrofit system

Following inventory and performance measurements of the existing system, we analyze data and communication interfaces and identify initial potential for optimization. This is followed by a controller software implementation, including plant documentation, I/O and event lists, as well as load calculations with Bachmann’s Wind Turbine Template (WTT) – based on turbine structures as defined in IEC61400-25. After multiple testing processes – software in the loop (SIL), hardware in the loop (HIL), and real-world conditions, the completed system is installed on site and commissioned.  

Cost-effective, with rapid replacement

As all hardware retrofits and software adjustments are planned and configured in advance, operations are only interrupted for a few days during implementation.

The retrofit makes the best possible use of existing turbine infrastructure. Existing sensors and actuators remain in use wherever possible. Failure-prone or obsolete components are replaced to ensure many years of continued operations. In addition, new controller modules are subjected to a 48-hour test in advance under the most extreme conditions. 

Absolute independence

When original parts are no longer available for defective turbine components, controller parameters for any third-party replacements must be reassigned. With existing automation systems from turbine manufacturers, data is not always accessible. With Bachmann's open system, operators have access to all necessary data and are able to make flexible adjustment and optimization decisions.

Full overview with simple engineering

Wind Power SCADA (WPS), Bachmann's web-based SCADA solution, allows any visualization device to be connected to the automation system – from smartphones, to powerful operator terminals. The software framework is based on WTT and incorporates communication standards such as OPC UA as well as IEC 61400-25. With its ready-made plant components and numerous integrated functions, developers can quickly implement new control strategies and easily create additional visualization tools. Together with the scalable hardware concept, operators remain securely and profitably connected to the grid over the long term.