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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.

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