Robust, precise encoders for wind turbines

Paul Boughton

POSITAL absolute and incremental encoders withstand even extreme environmental conditions and are therefore ideally suited for measuring and positioning tasks in wind turbines, such as yaw control of the nacelle through azimuth drives and the monitoring and adjustment of the tilt angle of the rotor blades by means of pitch control systems.

These incremental encoders are suitable because of their small size and robust magnetic technology, based on the Wiegand effect. Absolute encoders on the other hand ensure reliable positioning and never require reference runs, not even after power failures. All POSITAL encoders are available with a wide range of incremental, fieldbus, Ethernet, and serial interfaces as well as many different mechanical models, allowing for easy integration into machines and plants.

The company’s IXARC sensors have proven themselves in many wind energy applications. Optical absolute encoders with a maximum resolution of 16 Bit used in absolute position measurement for azimuth control systems are one example.

In addition to high resolution, such applications also require very robust sensors especially at high wind forces. With a shaft load capacity of up to 300 N, POSITAL encoders are among the best options for the aforementioned tasks.

The robust, tried-and-tested absolute encoders ensure better reliability and operating safety, which helps users considerably reduce monitoring and maintenance costs. Magnetic incremental encoders are used to precisely determine angles for the pitch control system. A high IP class is a key requirement, especially in offshore wind turbine parks where unsteady, very extreme conditions prevail.