Ghent University has used the Gobi-640-GigE thermal imaging camera for condition monitoring of offshore wind turbine drive trains.
The results are presented in a paper which stems from a project to complement present condition monitoring techniques for offshore wind turbine drive trains by thermal imaging. In a first test setup, fully covered spherical roller bearings have been monitored. A methodology for analysing the thermal measurements is presented and applied for both healthy and faulty bearings. Independent of the ambient temperature, a bearing with inner raceway fault shows faster and higher temperature increase than the healthy bearing. Furthermore, the heat increase does not further propagate through the shaft, revealing the potential of thermal imaging for both fault detection and localization for drive train components.