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Detailed state of the art review for the different on-line/in-line oil analysis techniques in context of wind turbine gearboxes

Hamilton, A. and Quail, Francis J. (2011) Detailed state of the art review for the different on-line/in-line oil analysis techniques in context of wind turbine gearboxes. Journal of Tribology, 133 (4). ISSN 0742-4787

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The main driver behind developing advanced condition monitoring (CM) systems for the wind energy industry is the delivery of improved asset management regarding the operation and maintenance of the gearbox and other wind turbine components and systems. Current gearbox CM systems mainly detect faults by identifying ferrous materials, water, and air within oil by changes in certain properties such as electrical fields. In order to detect oil degradation and identify particles, more advanced devices are required to allow a better maintenance regime to be established. Current technologies available specifically for this purpose include Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and ferrography. There are also several technologies that have not yet been or have been recently applied to CM problems. After reviewing the current state of the art, it is recommended that a combination of sensors would be used that analyze different characteristics of the oil. The information individually would not be highly accurate but combined it is fully expected that greater accuracy can be obtained. The technologies that are suitable in terms of cost, size, accuracy, and development are online ferrography, selective fluorescence spectroscopy, scattering measurements, FTIR, photoacoustic spectroscopy, and solid state viscometers.