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OPERATIONS & MAINTENANCE SECTION SPONSOR


‘Bright and breezy’ Wins the day for ZF Services UK


Fast response times and availability of product were key when power giant E.ON chose to carry out proactive maintenance at its Scroby Sands offshore wind farm off the Norfolk Coast.


For regular remote


monitoring and endoscopic investigation found it would be prudent to change gearboxes in three of the 30 offshore wind turbines at Great Yarmouth. ZF, as the OEM was able through ZF Services UK to supply all three of the 14.5 tonne EH804 gearboxes on demand as like-for-like replacements. Each has the capacity to play their part in generating up to 2MW of electricity.


VARIANTS


David Morgan, Business Manager for the wind market for ZF Services UK, said: “Due to the different


variants it can take up to 26 weeks to manufacture a gearbox. They are huge pieces of highly engineered equipment and don’t just roll off the production line.


“This is why we keep close to our customers, discussing their needs and maintenance plans and help them plan ahead as much as possible. That way we ensure we have the right gearboxes for them in stock and they avoid extended downtime.


“In this case we were able to supply all three gearboxes as and when they were needed.”


SCROBY SANDS


Scroby Sands wind farm is one of the UK’s first commercial offshore wind farms. Commissioned in 2004, the £75 million project generates enough energy to supply over 30,000 homes.


Generating power through the wind farm saves the emission of 67,802 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, along with nearly 600 tonnes of sulphur dioxide and nearly 2,000 tonnes of oxides of nitrogen.


QUICK RESPONSE AND SUPPLY Nigel Roser of E.ON, Mechanical Engineer for the Scroby Sands wind farm, said: “Our original requirement was for one gearbox but on further investigation we changed our minds and wanted three. ZF Services UK was able to respond at very short notice.


“We also needed hydraulic pumps and shrink discs to connect the gearboxes onto the shafts and a stand for one of the


24 www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


old gearboxes that was taken out – they supplied all these. Any request for information, such as technical data sheets, was quickly fulfilled. It was a first class service.”


AVOIDING EXPENSIVE DOWNTIME


Nigel said having all three new gearboxes available at the same time as the jack-up barge was critical as any downtime waiting for delivery could have been expensive. He said: “Not only do you need the maintenance team but also hiring a jack-up barge is costly and they are always in demand. So even if you have one you might not have the other. Being able to do all three was excellent.”


PROACTIVE MAINTENANCE Nigel explained that


proactive maintenance was a sensible safeguard, anticipating and preventing issues before any wear became serious.


As bearings wear, small particles of metal can be dislodged and implant themselves on the gear teeth and so they also wear. Remote electronic monitoring and visual inspections checking for vibration alert the team when it’s time to take action.


The installations were carried out by E.ON, with the turbines initially run at low speed to test them and then ramped up to full power and finally becoming fully operational again.


ZF Services UK


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EAST OF ENGLAND SPOTLIGHT ON


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