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Always keeping an eye on the brake

15 August 2018

With the intelligent monitoring module ROBA-brake-checker for yaw and pitch brakes, mayr power transmission is setting new standards for sensorless monitoring in the field of wind power.

Using this module, plant operators are always able to keep an eye on the brakes with regard to their switching condition, temperature and wear.

Wind power plants around the globe are equipped with electromagnetic brakes by mayr power transmission. The family-run company from the Allgäu region provides the ROBA-stop-M brakes as safety brakes especially developed and tested for yaw and pitch drives

“All brake components are reliably dimensioned and produced only from high-quality, tested and proven materials”, explains Andreas Merz, Product Manager at mayr power transmission. “Our brakes have been dimensioned to reliably achieve the specified braking torque under all operating conditions which might occur, regardless of e.g. the air humidity or the ambient temperature, depending on the region.” This has also been confirmed by Germanic Lloyd (GL), which has certified the Cold Climate version of the ROBA-stop-M brake for low temperature application down to -40°C. In general, the company always pays attention to careful quality control. This includes quality assurance measures during the design process as well as a comprehensive final inspection. An electronic database in which the measurement values are archived together with the corresponding serial numbers of a product guarantee 100 percent traceability. 

Brake technology 4.0 

mayr power transmission sets new standards with intelligent monitoring modules for its yaw and pitch brakes. In wind power, too, the monitoring of electromagnetic brakes is becoming increasingly important. The intelligent ROBA-brake-checker module works without sensors. Instead, it detects the movement of the armature disk by analysing current and voltage, and knows the current condition of the brake at all times. In addition to switching condition, temperature and wear, it also monitors the tension path or tensile force reserve, i.e. whether the magnet is still capable of attracting the armature disk. Using the new module, substantially more processes are now mapped during monitoring than with microswitches and initiators. On reaching the tensile force reserve, the ROBA-brake-checker emits a warning signal so early that the brake can still operate for a certain period of time. During this time, the wind power plant operator or manufacturer can undertake the necessary maintenance in a targeted manner, aligned to their work process. In a further stage of development, the module can also simultaneously take over the control of the brake, thus replacing a rectifier. In this way, switching conditioning monitoring and brake control are combined in one device. 

Condition monitoring without a switch

“As the ROBA-brake-checker works without sensors, meaning that no microswitch or proximity sensor has to be mounted on the outside of the brake, safety brakes can be used in their basic construction shape”, explains Merz. “Furthermore, no additional wiring or sealing of the switches and initiators is required.” In contrast to the solution using switches and initiations, which are exposed to impacts and vibrations due to their installation situation on the brake, monitoring with the ROBA-brake-checker takes place from the control cabinet, i.e. in a protected environment. Failures due to icing and error signals due to dirt such as friction dust are thus excluded. Due to the electrical switching of the ROBA-brake-checker in the DC version, the system availability can also be increased. This is because no critical spark formation is generated at the switching contactor, which in conventional wiring can lead to consumption of the contacts.

mayr power transmission at the Wind Energy 2018 in Hamburg: Hall B5, Stand 405.

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