Charlottesville, Va., November 10, 2011 — GE is working with Illinois Institute of Technology to investigate ways to improve wind farm productivity and efficiency.
The results of the study will directly contribute to future product and service designs. The project is part of a larger Department of Energy investment of $9 million to an IIT-led consortium to enhance the leadership role of the U.S. in testing and producing the most advanced and efficient wind turbines in the world.
The two-year project will focus on helping wind farms to reduce maintenance costs and improve availability through predictions of impending problems. The project's research will be conducted near Marseilles, Illinois on a GE 1.5 MW series wind turbine operated and maintained by Invenergy.
IIT students will be conducting research using GE's Proficy SmartSignal software on the GE wind turbine to learn how to detect faults even earlier and more accurately than currently possible.
The project includes adding more sensors than the industry standard to improve condition-monitoring precision, and enhancing the SmartSignal models to include measurements of vibration, lube oil and blade pitch motors. The IIT team will monitor the turbine remotely from the IIT campus and analyze the energy output and overall equipment performance.