Wind turbine safety is becoming increasingly important. In many countries, regulations stipulate that safety during wind turbine operation is critical to prevent accidents due to potential wind turbine collapse.
The ABB AC500-S safety PLC supports function block diagrams (FBD) and ladder usage (LD). It also supports structured text (ST) for the complex safety function implementations required in renewable applications like wind turbines. For instance, ABB AC500-S safety PLC performs different tasks including fail-safe control of pitch, torque and state for the entire wind turbine. Should there be a safety-related incident, the fail-safe control re-orientates the blades so the air-flow bypasses them without causing blade rotation.
In addition to a state-of-the-art wind turbine safe control, the ABB AC500-S safety PLC with condition monitoring provides fail-safe condition monitoring of vibrations within the turbine’s tower. This enables advanced safety functions to be implemented within wind turbines to avoid structural damage which could lead to accidents.
Typically, around 100 sensors and actuators are connected to the PLC, mixing digital and analog signals. As part of the turbine’s speed supervision, the strength of the wind is actively measured and its impact on vibrations is monitored. If problems, like vibrations, are detected in the mechanical structure of the wind turbine, then fail-safe condition monitoring through the PLC can stop the turbine and prevent collapse of the blades which could lead to accidents.
Distributed safety and non-safety modules, combined with modern fieldbuses such as PROFINET, ensure optimal performance, reliability and availability. Safety is seamlessly integrated into the ABB AC500 series, complying with SIL 3 (IEC 61508, IEC 61511 and IEC 62061) and PL e (ISO 13849-1). Meanwhile, AC500-XC and AC500-S-XC devices feature increased operating temperatures, resistance to vibration and resistance to hazardous gases and salt mist. To increase quality and monitor the wind turbines, it is mandatory to track a large amount of data.