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How to reduce maintenance costs for your wind farm

Table of contents

Imagine a mechanical process that has to withstand harsh conditions and is difficult to reach when there are issues. What’s more, this process relies on several industrial components working in continuous harmony. Only when every component is functioning correctly can the process itself take place.

You’ve just described the modern wind turbine.

Maintenance is responsible for 38% of wind farm operating expenses

offshore wind farm operating
Breakdown of operational expenditures (OPEX) of an offshore wind farm, according to Renewables Advisory Board (2010). Source: Lagerveld et al. (2014)

The remote location and the vagaries of weather make the cost of turbine maintenance a hefty chunk of wind farm opex. To drive that cost down, windtechs and maintenance managers need accurate information well in advance on how turbine components are faring. A good condition monitoring solution can detect developing turbine equipment failures up to months in advance, so you can avoid the massive expense of an emergency trip to repair a turbine that’s down. This degree of advance notice also means you no longer need to preventively replace components that may still have months or years of failure-free life. Add to that the fact that catching faults early prolongs a machine’s usable lifespan, and condition monitoring enables you to spend significantly less on personnel and hardware while maximizing turbine uptime.



Many equipment failures, many monitoring solutions

Wind turbine parts are a varied bunch: glass or carbon fiber blades, steel pitch and yaw gears, copper wiring in the generator. From blade cracks to bearing degradation, each fault carries its own fingerprint of failure—and each condition monitoring technology will detect certain problems sooner than others. How do you choose the right technique for each potential problem?

Side-by-side comparison

condition monitoring techniques side by side comparison 1400w

To help you get started, we’ve put together a free condition monitoring comparison guide that examines five common technologies for their value in offshore wind farms: acoustic emissions analysis, infrared thermography, electrical signature analysis, oil analysis and vibration analysis. The guide explores the strengths and weaknesses of each technology, plus example performance on common wind turbine failures. We hope it helps you craft the perfect condition monitoring strategy for your wind farm.

The condition monitoring comparison guide for wind turbines

Download the condition monitoring comparison guide for wind turbines to find out which method is right for your organization.

This e-book covers:

  • the anatomy of a wind turbine
  • condition monitoring in a wind turbine
  • examples of when different monitoring techniques will detect different wind turbine failures
  • performance and energy insights

 

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