The Timken Company has announced that it has reached an agreement with Northern States Power Minnesota, an Xcel Energy Company, for remote monitoring of wind turbines at Xcel Energy’s Nobles wind farm in southern Minnesota.

Timken will supply 134 of its Online Intelligence Systems (OIS) for the 1.5MW wind turbines at the facility. The initial agreement includes two years of condition monitoring and advanced on-going analysis services.

The Timken OIS is a breakthrough condition monitoring/data collection and reporting system, specifically designed for low-speed wind turbine applications. The OIS analyzes a combination of vibration, high-definition shock pulses and analog/digital inputs to identify main-shaft bearing, gearbox, and generator problems before they develop into life-limiting conditions.

The NSP-Minnesota system is permanently mounted for real-time data retrieval, but the technology can also be packaged as a portable system for trouble-shooting turbines without online systems during normal service intervals.

The contract with NSP-Minnesota builds on a number of recent successes as Timken continues to focus on improving the reliability and service of its wind energy customers.

"Timken has recently installed wind turbine monitoring systems in Asia, the US, and South America, and has signed a technical development arrangement with Xinjiang Goldwind Science Technology, China’s second-largest wind turbine manufacturer," said Hans Landin, director of process industries, original equipment and wind energy for Timken. "Timken has also established itself as a primary source of wear-resistant aftermarket bearings solving recurring turbine reliability problems, which have become a significant issue throughout the wind energy industry."

"As the number one wind power provider in the United States, wind energy plays a significant role in our balanced portfolio," said Laura McCarten, regional vice president Northern States Power-Minnesota, an Xcel Energy company. "Our agreement with Timken will help us continue to provide reliable, cost-effective wind energy to our customers."