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CONDITION MONITORING


FEATURE SPONSOR


GENERATING INCREASED WIND TURBINE LIFESPAN


Wind turbines can achieve an online availability of about 98%, giving operators approximately one week in the year when planned maintenance can be completed.


Since wind turbines were first commissioned on an industrial scale, the technology and design of the components has progressed rapidly, enabling units over 1MW to be installed with an expected working life of around 20 years. As each new design comes to market, it incorporates the lessons learned from its predecessors but also has the potential to introduce its own issues.


PLANNED AND REACTIVE STRATEGIES Creating a comprehensive maintenance strategy for wind turbines requires considerable expertise in the various parts of rotating equipment, the systems behind the electronic control panels, as well as flexible field service teams that can provide planned and reactive repair solutions to remote areas. However, the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) will generally only look after their own equipment, which can lead to a complex set of arrangements for each turbine.


Developing a partnership with an experienced, independent provider can deliver a number of advantages, one of which is access to their considerable


60 www.windenergynetwork.co.uk


experience in repairing a variety of wind turbine designs. Such an arrangement has the potential to maximise maintenance efficiency and allow all the components within an installation to be covered by experienced engineers from a single source.


SPECIALIST SERVICES In addition, a greater breadth of experience, supported by expert design engineers, allows modifications to the original components to be introduced that will improve durability. By delivering these as part of a planned schedule, productivity can be maximised and component failures avoided.


Sulzer offers a specialist on-site wind turbine repair service that can react to unplanned maintenance issues, with a particular emphasis on generator repairs. With high turbine availability as a priority, the company has dedicated resources that can be deployed to both onshore and offshore generating facilities. In many cases this can reduce downtime and maintenance costs substantially compared to the alternatives of either a workshop repair or complete replacement.


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