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Pitch drive controllers from KEB play a central safety role in wind turbines

Pitch drive controllers from KEB play a central safety role in wind turbines

KEB Automation is seeing an increase in demand for its drive controllers, motors and brakes for onshore and offshore wind turbines. Pitch and yaw drives, pitch motors, as well as pitch and yaw brakes from KEB, are proving popular as a central safety component in wind turbines, including the latest high power (10MW and above) turbines.

“The trend is clearly towards ever larger, more powerful wind turbines,” says Sebastian Eicke, applications engineer in the wind energy team at KEB Automation. “This is closely linked to the repowering of existing plants and the expansion of offshore wind farms.”

Manufacturers of wind turbines have special requirements that must be met. “In the wind sector, robustness plays an important role, as do long maintenance intervals, because the turbines are exposed to a wide variety of environmental conditions,” explains Roger Brohl, product manager for the wind sector at KEB Automation. “From very cold to very warm, with high vibrations in the nacelle, which means drives and brakes have to withstand everything.

“The keyword here is safety. The pitch drives are a central safety component of the wind turbine. In the event of a power failure, a storm or a fault, they must ensure that the turbine blades reach a safe position – the so-called vane position.”

“In the Chinese market, we can probably call ourselves, without false modesty, one of the market leaders in pitch inverters,” says Eicke. “For example, the new COMBIVERT 23P6 pitch inverter from KEB is particularly well suited to large wind turbines of around 10MW and above. The pitch drives are also joined by yaw drives for aligning the turbine in the direction of the wind – so-called wind tracking. The system can be completed with the use of KEB brakes and motors. The COMBISTOP range of spring-applied brakes, for example, are specially optimised for use in wind turbines, enabling universal installation on synchronous or asynchronous motors, for onshore, nearshore or offshore wind turbines.”

The KEB product portfolio for wind turbines includes pitch drives, pitch motors, pitch and yaw brakes, yaw drives, and software for remote maintenance and control of these products.


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