That is a question every wind turbine manufacturer asks. Before they put it in use, they must understand why it is crucial to have the electromechanical device in place for wind turbines to work efficiently and maximally. Therefore, the following article comes in handy in answering the question.
Why is Slip Ring used in a Wind Turbine?
Slip rings and wind turbine has a direct relationship. Moreover, for a wind turbine to be able to work efficiently, a manufacturer has to install a slip ring to transmit power. The performance of a wind turbine directly relates to the stability of the whole system involved. So, it is wise to look at both the wind turbine and the slip ring right.
What are Wind Turbines?
Manufacturers are turning to wind energy as it is green and sustainable. Furthermore, it has a low cost of maintenance and is readily available. Wind turbines are power-harnessing equipment that turns power in two or three propeller blades around a motor connected to the main shaft. Consequently, it spins the generator in the wind turbine to produce energy.
For a wind turbine to be useful and be able to create energy, there must be a reliable device to transmit power and signal from the nacelle to the control system of the rotary blade. Also, the whole process must work hand in hand to produce electricity. That is where a slip ring comes in handy.
Slip rings act as a media of connection. Manufacturers use the electromechanical device to transmit power from stationary cables in the nacelle to the rotating equipment in the hub. Thus, for a wind turbine to work efficiently, a manufacturer must install the right slip ring.
But what is a slip ring in general? How does it work to help the performance of a wind turbine?
Slip Ring Uses
Manufacturers produce slip rings for use in different places. Likewise, buyers buy them to use in making equipment with rotating parts. How do you know the right slip ring to use in a particular application? The right one depends on:
What is a Slip Ring?
In short, a slip ring is an electromechanical device that designers make to transfer electricity from a rotating generator shaft to a transformer. Manufacturers use it in any electromechanical system that rotates while transmitting power. To clarify, failure to a slip ring of a wind turbine leads to no transmission of power. Therefore, wind turbine makers must focus on getting a well-designed and crafted slip ring for efficiency.
Manufacturers assemble the slip ring on the end of the generator shaft. At this stage, it transfers the power generated by the rotor leading to a transformer. It makes it easier to transmit currents and signals from the rotary center to the generator where power stays.
Slip rings come in many sizes, shapes, and types depending on the end-use. For instance, the wind turbine has specific slip ring types installed on them depending on the environment. Besides, it also counts the amount of power to transmit.
Things you should know about a Slip Ring
A slip ring has two components. It has a solid metal and wire brush. As the wind turns the blades, electrical current or signals conduct through the wire brush to the metal ring and after that make the connections. The material in each of the components has to be right for the slip ring to be efficient.
The brush is either of graphite or precious metal wire. It is fixed in one place and remains in contact with rings which can be either stacked along the rotating axes or in a plate and rub against them as they rotate. The brush contacts the outside diameter of a metal ring, making it essential in the transmission.
It is essential to know multiple contacts between the brush and metal rings that allow even sharing of the electrical and mechanical energy. As a result, the brush of a slip ring tears out over time and maintenance is necessary over time.
They are the conductors of the slip ring and are of a metal that is a good conductor. They can be stacked up in a disc shape, and indeed determine a slip ring type. A brush in the electromechanical device rubs against them and, in turn, conducts signals or power.
How does Slip Ring help in performance?
Slip rings’ primary purpose is to transmit power and signal in rotating equipment. How do they make it easier and increase performance? To sum up, here is how the device helps in making the wind turbine efficient:
1. Simplifies how a system works
Imagine a wind turbine or any other rotating machine without the slip ring. How can power and signal pass from the nacelle to rotating equipment in the hub? A wind turbine cannot work without one, as the path has to be there.
Electrical current or signals require a medium, and that is why a slip ring has a brush in it. This brush is fixed in one place to remain in contact with the metal rings to further conduct electrical and mechanical load. Without it, a wind turbine cannot work.
2. Improves mechanical performance
When the rings in a slip ring turn, they allow the flow of signal and current from the brush to the metal ring. Above all, they maintain a connection between the stationary and rotation parts.
Like said earlier, the performance of the wind turbine directly relates to the stability of the whole system running. Thus, what makes the system run is the slip ring. A good quality slip ring leads to high performance, while a bad one leads to poor performance.
3. Helps in tangled wires
Firstly, wind turbine rotates to face the wind and extract energy. Secondly, the wind keeps on changing the direction. It leads the cables of the wind turbine to twist. The slip ring helps in unwinding and transmitting the electricity and signal despite the constant movements.
In conclusion, there is a direct relationship between the performance of a wind turbine and the slip ring installed. Well, the slip ring aids in transmitting power from the stationary part of it to the rotating part. In short, a high-quality slip ring from a reliable manufacturer leads to high performance, productivity and less cost of maintenance of a wind turbine.