Turbine controls for wind and gas turbines: Introduction 

In the dynamic world of energy production, turbine controls are the linchpin of efficient and reliable operation for both wind and gas turbines.  

As the demand for sustainable and uninterrupted power grows, the sophistication of turbine control systems has become a focal point for industry professionals.  

Our buyer’s guide content takes a look at some of the intricacies of turbine controls, providing insights into what to look for and the latest technological advancements in the field. 

Understanding turbine controls 

Turbine controls are integral components that govern turbines’ operation, performance, and safety.  

For wind turbines, the controller is the brain of the turbine, managing its start-up, operation, and shut-down.  

It adjusts the blade pitch and rotor speed to maximise efficiency and protect the turbine from extreme weather conditions.  

In gas turbines, the control system is responsible for managing fuel flow, ignition, and temperature to ensure optimal performance and minimal emissions. 

When selecting a turbine control system, one must consider several factors, including compatibility with existing infrastructure, ease of integration, reliability, and the ability to adapt to varying operational conditions.  

In addition, the control system should be backed by robust support and maintenance services to minimise downtime and extend the turbine’s lifespan. 

Key consideration: Selecting turbine controls 

With a wide range of options now available, buyers in the market for turbine controls should prioritise the following features: 

  • Real-time monitoring and diagnostics 
  • Advanced algorithms for predictive maintenance 
  • Seamless integration with SCADA systems 
  • Compliance with industry standards and regulations 
  • User-friendly interface for operators 
  • Remote control capabilities for inaccessible locations 
  • Customisable settings to suit specific turbine models 

These features ensure the turbine operates at peak efficiency, with minimal risk of failure or unplanned outages. 

Industry-leading systems and solutions for turbine controls 

With the marketplace offering a plethora of systems and solutions tailored to the needs of wind and gas turbines, the choice can be complicated.  

Some of the current solutions for buyers to consider include, but are not restricted to:  

  • Siemens‘ SPPA-T3000 Control System 
  • GE’s Mark VIe Integrated Control System 
  • Vestas’ InteliLight® for wind turbine collision avoidance 
  • Emerson’s Ovation™ Gas Turbine Control System 
  • Rockwell Automation‘s ControlLogix® System 
  • ABB‘s Ability™ Power Generation and Water Industries 
  • Schneider Electric‘s EcoStruxure™ Power Operation 
  • Woodward‘s MicroNet™ Plus Customizable Control System 
  • Mita-Teknik’s Control Systems for Wind Turbines 
  • Beckwith Electric’s Gas Turbine Control Solutions 
  • DEIF’s Wind Power Solutions 
  • Bently Nevada’s System 1 for Condition Monitoring 
  • Honeywell’s Experion® PKS for Gas Turbines 
  • Bachmann electronic’s M1 Automation System 
  • Moog‘s Pitch and Yaw Control Solutions for Wind Turbines 

These systems offer a range of functionalities, from basic control to comprehensive management, catering to various operational scales and complexities. 

Latest technological advances in turbine controls 

The landscape of turbine controls is continually evolving, with technological advances aimed at enhancing efficiency, reliability, and adaptability.  

Innovations such as machine learning algorithms, IoT connectivity, and advanced analytics are revolutionising how turbine controls operate.  

These technologies enable predictive maintenance, which can forecast potential issues before they occur, thereby reducing downtime and maintenance costs. 

Another significant advancement is the integration of digital twins, virtual replicas of physical turbines, which allow for real-time simulation and analysis. 

This technology assists in optimising turbine performance and testing control strategies in a risk-free environment. 

Furthermore, the adoption of cybersecurity measures in turbine controls has become paramount, as the systems are increasingly interconnected and vulnerable to cyber threats.  

Advanced encryption and intrusion detection systems are being implemented to safeguard critical infrastructure. 

Turbine controls for wind and gas turbines: Our conclusion 

In conclusion, selecting the right turbine control system is a critical decision that requires careful consideration of the turbine’s specific needs, the latest technological advancements, and the long-term support offered by the manufacturer.  

By prioritising features that enhance efficiency, reliability, and safety, buyers can ensure their turbines operate at their full potential.