Data Transmission in Wind Turbines

Wind turbines have to meet high requirements, especially in terms of energy yield, efficiency and reliability. The control and operational use of wind turbines therefore requires reliable communication in real time and at high data rates between sensors and actuators in the rotor blades and the control system in the nacelle via the drive train.

PROFIBUS systems with data transmission rates of 12 Mbit per second used to be adequate, but these days real-time systems with significantly faster transmission rates of up to 100 Mbit or even 1 Gbit per second are deployed.

Data transmission takes place either by means of conventional slip ring or contactless rotary joints. To optimise data transfer, SPINNER offers innovative solutions for both technologies that are specially adapted to the requirements for the construction of generators, drive trains, hubs and rotors in wind turbines.

Non-contact transmission is high-performance, reliable, maintenance-free and durable

Since pitch slip ring systems are unable to consistently maintain high data transfer rates without any interruptions, SPINNER has developed electronic, contactless rotary joints which allow maintenance-free data transfer that reliably transmit up to 1 Gbit/s of Ethernet data.

Integrated in pitch slip ring systems or as standalone, these systems transmit (real-time) data protocols based on IEEE 802.3, such as Powerlink, Ethercat, Profinet or Sercos III. They can also transmit protocols such as PROFIBUS 12 Mbit/s and CAN (in repeater mode) as well as RS-422 signals.

If the data transmission takes place by means of optical fibres, we also offer fiber optic rotary joints optimised for operation in wind turbines.

During the design process, special attention was paid to reliable and maintenance-free use over a long service life in potentially harsh and humid environments as well as in confined installation spaces. Rotary joints with a free inner diameter of up to 300 mm with space for e.g. oil and hydraulic supply or heating are also possible.