May 28, 2013 | by Brogan Morton | Engineering + Technology, Wind Plant Optimization

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This article first appeared in the May 2013 issue of North American Windpower.

While most owners and operators consider a condition monitoring system’s initial price tag, many do not realize that the annual analysis costs can also be significant.

Vibration-based condition monitoring systems (CMS) are critical for use in predictive maintenance programs that require early indications of faults. However, the major hurdle to wide-scale adoption of these systems has been their costs. As the hardware price of these CMS has come down, adoption has accelerated. These new CMS users have discovered there is a significant amount of analysis and expertise needed to translate a complex vibration wave form into an actionable recommendation.

The analysis is important because the performance of systems is dictated by its effectiveness, but doing the analysis well can incur significant costs. When evaluating CMS, prospective users should take a holistic approach to the total cost of ownership. The overarching goal of a CMS is to provide users with recommendations that allow them to make optimal operations and maintenance decisions. It is important to understand the process through which a CMS converts a physical measurement – in this case, vibration – into a recommendation for action.

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brogan morton
Brogan Morton

When Brogan Morton began his career by conducting engineering research for aerospace systems, he was excited about the technological advancements he saw. But something was missing: few people knew or cared about them. Now, as product manager for NRG's turbine performance optimization line, Brogan ensures that product development is closely aligned with customer needs. Keenly interested in delivering the right tools to reduce wind’s cost of energy, Brogan writes about all things O&M.

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