As a follow-up to our earth day article, we thought we would explore the cable assembly requirements for wind power. It is an industry that we serve and would like to see grow because it is a great source of renewable energy.
In addition to the cables which carry the generated power from the turbine to the power grid, wind turbines require multiple cable assemblies that carry power and/or data between the functional elements of the turbine. These cables usually include:
Low-voltage Loop Cables
Flexible Medium Voltage Cables
Nacelle Cables for linking generators to transformers
Low-Voltage Aluminum Cables Control Cables
These cables move data and power between the control boxes in a turbine’s nacelle and its main components, e.g. sensors, drives, and blades. These components, in turn track operational conditions and control elements such as the blades’ yaw, azimuth and pitch which determine power generation. Additionally, cables are needed to establish a connection between the a wind farm’s control tower, remote command center and the power lines.
Since turbines must endure all kinds of weather and be monitored/controlled remotely, these cables must be ruggedized so they can withstand:
Torque/flexing due to wind and mechanical adjustments in turbine alignment
Chemical and oil used by the turbine’s mechanical components
The conductor materials used by turbines for power are fairly simple: copper or aluminum alloy. Data transmission and communications rely on fiber optic and ethernet cable. These conductors, however, must be properly protected from the conditions noted above. A wide range of jacketing options exists for use in turbine cable assemblies including: thermoset plastics, heat shrink tubing, self-sealing sleeves, and SPGF spiral bindings.
Give the challenges wind farms face and developments in technology, cable assemblies connection options are constantly evolving. Instead of individual cables for each function, we can now build one cable with many wires and appropriate connectors which will:
Handle power turbine control and movement
Send data from turbine sensors to central monitoring locations
Receive from communications/command from central control locations
Getting the Right Connection
Depending on your turbine’s configuration, we can use ruggedized versions of standard connectors, such as IP67 Ethernet connectors, USB, coaxial contacts, and Tconnectors. We might even be able to take advantage hybrid/modularized connectors. Color coding and push-pull connectors are often added to make installation and troubleshooting easier. As wind farm owners look past the initial cost of equipment, lifecycle and maintenance costs become part of the equation. Cable manufacturers can support wind power by ensuring that original cable design or quality replacement cables that offer
Durability and longevity
Ease of installation and maintenance
Contact Us Today for your Next Wind Turbine Project
We can build custom cables for your new turbine project or provide replacement harnesses. Contact us today for more information, call 419-884-0071 or use our online form. We will work with you to find the right solution.