Case Study: Vestas

Delivering safety control systems for wind turbines

Vestas Case Study PDF

"We chose to work with TTTech Industrial due to their outstanding experience in functional safety. The scalable DCS allows us to the focus on extending functionality and offering customers new services, confident in the knowledge that Vestas turbines meet the highest safety standards.”

  • Vestas faced a situation where the internal control
    systems for different turbines varied widely, often
    requiring a significant architecture redesign for each
    new turbine model.
    Previous generations of turbines had been based on
    control systems where safety and non-safety functions
    were physically separated. This ensured safe
    operation but restricted the way that data could be
    gathered from the control system. Physical separation
    of systems meant that there was a lot of external
    wiring between the actuators and the controllers
    which made servicing and maintenance challenging.
    Vestas wanted to migrate from restrictive safety
    systems based on dedicated safety PLCs to a more
    flexible system with a consolidated design. TTTech
    Industrial offered great experience in functional
    safety and deep technical knowledge that stood out
    from other suppliers.

  • TTTech Industrial built a scalable Distributed Control
    System (DCS) for Vestas that fulfils safety requirements
    and can be reused in multiple turbine models.
    At the heart of the DCS is the Safety Control Board,
    designed by TTTech Industrial to converge safety
    and non-safety functions on one piece of hardware.
    The entire DCS allows safety and non-safety systems
    to operate seamlessly together. It was developed
    with safety standards in mind so that it meets
    the requirements of safety certification bodies like
    TÜV. Additional Safety Control Boards can be easily
    added to the DCS in order to scale it for use in larger
    turbines or models with special features, such as ice
    removal for use in cold climates.
    Using Deterministic Ethernet within the DCS allows
    more data to be shared on the network whilst
    ensuring optimal bandwidth usage.

  • Vestas is integrating the scalable DCS from TTTech
    Industrial into thousands of wind turbines every year.
    The company is benefitting from increased flexibility
    and reduced complexity which brings down the cost
    of setting up new turbine control systems substantially.
    The scalability of the DCS has also streamlined
    development, with more than 70% of the turbine
    control architecture now being reused when building
    new turbines.
    The reduction in external wiring enabled by the converged
    safety control and networking equipment has
    led to lower maintenance and servicing efforts. The
    system not only requires fewer spare parts in total,
    the spare parts required are also easier to change.
    Network switches can now be replaced or added
    without affecting the safety control board which
    remains in place. Vestas has enjoyed significant
    improvements in turbine uptime which ensures that
    customer contracts are fulfilled and the overall cost
    of energy for consumers is reduced.

Vestas faced a situation where the internal control
systems for different turbines varied widely, often
requiring a significant architecture redesign for each
new turbine model.
Previous generations of turbines had been based on
control systems where safety and non-safety functions
were physically separated. This ensured safe
operation but restricted the way that data could be
gathered from the control system. Physical separation
of systems meant that there was a lot of external
wiring between the actuators and the controllers
which made servicing and maintenance challenging.
Vestas wanted to migrate from restrictive safety
systems based on dedicated safety PLCs to a more
flexible system with a consolidated design. TTTech
Industrial offered great experience in functional
safety and deep technical knowledge that stood out
from other suppliers.

TTTech Industrial built a scalable Distributed Control
System (DCS) for Vestas that fulfils safety requirements
and can be reused in multiple turbine models.
At the heart of the DCS is the Safety Control Board,
designed by TTTech Industrial to converge safety
and non-safety functions on one piece of hardware.
The entire DCS allows safety and non-safety systems
to operate seamlessly together. It was developed
with safety standards in mind so that it meets
the requirements of safety certification bodies like
TÜV. Additional Safety Control Boards can be easily
added to the DCS in order to scale it for use in larger
turbines or models with special features, such as ice
removal for use in cold climates.
Using Deterministic Ethernet within the DCS allows
more data to be shared on the network whilst
ensuring optimal bandwidth usage.

Vestas is integrating the scalable DCS from TTTech
Industrial into thousands of wind turbines every year.
The company is benefitting from increased flexibility
and reduced complexity which brings down the cost
of setting up new turbine control systems substantially.
The scalability of the DCS has also streamlined
development, with more than 70% of the turbine
control architecture now being reused when building
new turbines.
The reduction in external wiring enabled by the converged
safety control and networking equipment has
led to lower maintenance and servicing efforts. The
system not only requires fewer spare parts in total,
the spare parts required are also easier to change.
Network switches can now be replaced or added
without affecting the safety control board which
remains in place. Vestas has enjoyed significant
improvements in turbine uptime which ensures that
customer contracts are fulfilled and the overall cost
of energy for consumers is reduced.

About Vestas

Vestas is a leading name in sustainable energy solutions. The company designs, manufactures, installs, and services wind turbines across the globe.