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The Timken Co. says 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 1.5 MW wind turbines at the facility. The initial agreement includes two years of condition monitoring and ongoing analysis services.

Timken's OIS is specifically designed for low-speed wind turbine applications. It 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 company explains.

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, Timken adds.

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