Prudent person standard for wind turbines through periodic vibration monitoring

The prudent person standard is a legal principle that assumes a person behaves reasonably as a responsible person and does everything necessary to prevent (foreseeable) damage. It is therefore important for asset managers, operators, and operators of wind turbines to adhere to the prudent person standard.

It is crucial to maintain wind turbines properly to optimize their performance and extend their lifespan. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through continuous vibration monitoring with periodic vibration analysis as part of a predictive maintenance strategy.

What is vibration monitoring with periodic vibration analysis?

In wind turbines, ideally, continuous vibration monitoring and data acquisition take place on the entire drivetrain (low-speed shaft, high-speed shaft, gearbox, and generator), after which the data is periodically analyzed, for example, once a quarter. The main goal is to detect early signs of wear, defects, or imbalance in the turbine before they cause serious problems. Periodic analysis can establish a trend with which advice can be given on potential developing issues.

The Importance of the prudent person standard

In the context of wind turbines, adhering to the “prudent person standard” means that owners and operators of these machines take responsibility to manage and maintain them optimally. Periodic vibration analysis is a crucial part of this responsible management.

Applying periodic vibration analysis as part of the prudent person standard can lead to significant benefits in terms of performance, lifespan, and safety of wind turbines. It is an investment that not only yields financial savings but also contributes to more sustainable and efficient energy production.

In an era where sustainability and efficiency are central to the energy industry, periodic vibration analysis is an indispensable tool for ensuring the success of wind turbines and promoting a greener future.

Why is periodic vibration analysis important for wind turbines?

Early detection of problems

Periodic vibration analysis can identify issues before they lead to larger and more costly damage. This allows maintenance and repair work to be proactively planned and executed.

Extension of lifespan

By addressing problems promptly, the lifespan of a wind turbine can be extended. This not only saves costs for replacement but also reduces the ecological impact of the production and disposal of turbines.

Optimization of performance

By analyzing vibration data, the performance of the turbine can be optimized. This can lead to increased energy production due to better availability and higher efficiency.


Monitoring vibrations is also essential for the safety of wind turbines. It prevents unexpected failures and reduces the risk of accidents.

How does periodic vibration analysis work in practice?

Before reliable vibration analyses can be performed, it is important that good vibration data acquisition takes place. The drivetrain (low-speed shaft, high-speed shaft, gearbox, and generator) is equipped with vibration sensors and a data acquisition system. The vibrations in the individual drivetrain components are continuously measured with these sensors. The collected data is then analyzed using advanced analysis software that can identify deviations and patterns in the vibration data.

Vibration analysis services for wind turbines

Istec offers vibration analysis services for wind parks, providing insights into the condition of wind turbines. With Europe’s largest in-house team of highly certified vibration specialists, we support managers (operators) and owners of wind parks in their mission to operate their wind parks at optimal performance levels.