WIN! With its cutting-edge and secure solutions for the harsh environment of wind power installations, Weidmüller is continually contributing to the competitiveness of wind applications throughout the world. What sets the new lighting system apart?
Schlingmann: Our goal is not only to supply customers with individual components, but also to develop innovative concepts that simplify work processes and enhance plant efficiency. This is exactly what we've done with our new FieldPower® Wind Energy lighting system for wind power installations. The core element is the use of LED lamps, which boast extremely low power consumption and long-lasting durability. Used together with a complete system for uninterruptible power supply, remote monitoring and optional outlets, this creates a ready-to-fit solution for lighting, optional emergency lighting and power supply of the entire plant. All the parts are proven and perfectly coordinated to one another, so the lighting system can be easily included in any application.
WIN! Switching from tried-and-proven technologies to new ones is a step often fraught with risks and a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. What advantages does the LED technology offer compared with existing lighting solutions?
Schlingmann: Up until now, linear fluorescent luminaires were often used to provide interior lighting in wind power installations. Compared with LED technology, linear fluorescent luminaires harbour a wealth of disadvantages during ongoing plant operation.
In addition to their high power consumption, they are also very fragile and often result in unnecessary additional costs for maintenance and replacement. It certainly isn't uncommon for the actual installation and maintenance work to be preceded by unscheduled servicing, as it is simply impossible to work safely in the towers without sufficient interior lighting.
In contrast, LED lamps are especially energy-efficient and boast a service life of up to 20 years.
In developing our FieldPower® LED lamps, we have designed every detail to meet the extreme environmental conditions in wind power installations.
WIN! What specific characteristics distinguish the lighting solution as particularly practical?
Schlingmann: Already at first glance, this is evident thanks to their robust plastic housing with a protection class of up to IP 54 and their compact size. But the “inner values” are convincing as well: Our LED lamps contain no mercury and produce light that is free from UV and infrared. Unlike with conventional linear fluorescent luminaires, the full light output is available as soon as the lamps are switched on, regardless of the temperature and without any annoying flickering. The light intensity of the LED lamps is consistent, even in emergency mode and with low power consumption.
We have developed two variants to cater to the particular requirements of the different areas in a wind power installation. Given its non-directional light incidence, the FieldPower® MONO LED is excellently suited to illuminating large spaces and work areas in the blade and nacelle, for instance. We designed the FieldPower® DUO LED, meanwhile, to respond especially to the requirement in ascent and decent areas. Its design means that it delivers directional light on two sides, thus guaranteeing optimum illumination along footways and ladders.
WIN! In using LED lamps, you're choosing the efficient and secure option, but this solution also translates into higher procurement costs. How can Weidmüller's complete system help to cut operating costs in the long term?
Schlingmann: Thanks to our experience and expertise in the fields of power supply, data and signal processing, we have developed a sophisticated solution: FieldPower® Wind Energy. You no longer have to consider all the components individually. Instead, the entire system including the power supply can be integrated into the plant with ease, so that the time-consuming and costly process of coordinating interfaces and components becomes a thing of the past. Our service that offers free light simulation coordinated to the application also simplifies the customer's planning process.
The wide-range input from 24 to 120 V DC enables illumination of large distances - in the tower of a wind power installation, for example. Even from a low conductor cross-section of 1.5 mm², up to 40 FieldPower® LED lamps can be supplied over a length of up to 230 m. Compared with the systems on offer at present, the use of a centralised, uninterruptible 24 V DC power supply minimises costs ranging from procurement and servicing to ongoing operation.
The entire circle of light can be monitored remotely when needed, making service operations more efficient and thus cutting costs. Also a luminous signal can be triggered by the circle of light to visually warn service staff when there are problems in the plant. At the moment, acoustic warning systems are used, but these can very quickly be drowned out by ambient noises.To sum up, our unique combination of LED technology, application-specific power supply, automation and individual system design opens up fresh potential for optimising the efficiency in the illumination of wind turbines - for enlightening arguments from planning to operation.