What did GE's analytics software find?
In August, GE's SmartSignal solution detected an increase in generator bearing and winding temperatures. Drive end and non-drive end bearing temperatures reached values as high as 75°C (167°F) and 98°C (208°F), respectively. Generator winding temperatures reached values as high as 125°C (257°F). Due to the significant increase in temperature over a short period of time, GE’s Industrial Performance & Reliability Center (IPRC) sent a notification via GE's Rapid Response team to the site, and the issue was discussed during the weekly call.
What was the underlying cause?
Upon investigation of the issue, the site discovered a failed contactor for the generator cooling fan.
What was the value to the customer?
After being notified by GE, the site was able to proactively repair the failed contactor on the cooling fan before the increased temperature caused damage to the generator. The increased temperatures within the nacelle could have additionally increased the aging rate for the contained components. Finally, a financial impact of approximately $20,000 was avoided because of the difficulty of replacing large components on a wind turbine, including the cost of replacement components and crane rental along with extended downtime for the wind turbine.
Screenshot depicting increases in actual bearing and generator winding temperatures (blue) versus expected values (green).