The windmill is a machine employed to convert wind energy into electricity. Due to their remote locations, sensors are critical components in operation, maintenance and safety of wind mills, making their selection important. Pressure sensors are used to monitor yaw brake, lubrication oil, cooling circuit pressure, and level in gear boxes. Temperature sensors are also used in the cooling circuits. Differential pressure sensors are used to monitor the filter condition. As the hydraulic filter becomes clogged, the output signal increases, thus notifying the controller to replace the filter.
Windmills are located in deserts, coastal areas and mountain tops; creating a need for universal survival of the instrumentation and equipment installed on them. Operating temperature for these windmills can range from -50 to 60°C. For example, along the coast windmills are subject to salt mist and fog, a leading form of corrosion. The instrumentation used to monitor the operating conditions for the windmill needs to run in these severe conditions while offering reliability and trouble free service.
Pressure sensors, differential pressure sensors and pressure-temperature sensors from AST are ideal for the windmill applications. These sensors are rugged and can be operated over wide ranges of temperature and environments, from deserts to coastal plains. AST4000 offers high proof and burst ratings with excellent EMC protection. AST5400 offers filter condition monitoring with linear and accurate readings. AST20HA offers both pressure and temperature readings from one device, reducing process penetrations in the hydraulic system. AST4510 measures the level of the oil reservoir while offering temperature output as an option. Maintaining and monitoring the level of oil is critical to maintain smooth supply of power from the windmill.