Controlling Wind Power Turbines

Eaton Automation GmbH / Bonn / Germany

Enercon develops and produces gearless wind power turbines that set standards on the market in terms of power, reliability and lifespan. To meet its demanding requirements, Enercon chose Moeller‘s XC100-FC modular PLC (programming system CODESYS) with a fibre optic field bus interface for controlling and monitoring the aviation beacon system.

Enercon wind turbines are equipped with state-of-the-art microelectronic control technology developed in-house. The main processing unit, which is the central element of the control system, is in continuous contact with the peripheral control elements, such as the yaw control and active pitch control system. Its function is to adjust the individual system parameters to ensure the wind turbines operate at optimum yield under all weather conditions. The correct feeding of electricity from the wind turbine into the grid requires the monitoring of the grid connection. Grid parameters such as voltage, current and frequency are measured on the low-voltage side between the turbine inverter and the system transformer. All measured values are continuously transmitted to the system control, enabling the turbine to react immediately to changes in the grid voltage or frequency. As soon as the defined limit values of the system protection are exceeded, the wind turbine is safely shut down and service is informed. When the voltage and frequency return to the permissible tolerances, the wind turbine is automatically started up again, thus preventing lengthy downtimes.

The control, monitoring and possible standby supply is installed in a central control cabinet. This consequently reduces the external equipment required to a brightness sensor, the beacon lights themselves and, if necessary, a visibility meter. To keep the cabling for these components as short as possible, the control cabinet for the beacon system is housed in the nacelle. The control cabinets for beacons with a standby supply are located in an extra air-conditioned control cabinet.

The Moeller XC100-FC modular PLC with an FO fieldbus interface handles a host of different tasks. It controls and monitors both the grid supply as well as the standby supply. It is also responsible for the management of the accumulator. In addition to this, it handles the control and monitoring of the air conditioning, i.e. the heater and fan. Furthermore, the XC100-FC controls the beacon lights and records their operating hours, controls their intensity and monitors them. In addition to the beacon management system, the XC100-FC modular PLC also controls the wind park synchronisation, communicates with the brightness sensor and the visibility meter and provides detailed warning and fault indications.

Modular PLC XC-CPU101-FC


  • CANopen fibre optic field bus interface (decentralised programming possible)
  • Integrated real-time clock
  • slot for a Multi-Media Memory Card (MMC with standard file system)
  • eight digital inputs
  • six short-circuit-proof outputs (four of which are designed as interrupt inputs)
  • local expansion with up to 15 XIOC signal modules
  • conection of up to 32 I/O points
  • 30 millimetre mounting width and 100 millimetre height



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