What to consider in a contract

OEMs, such as Suzlon, have a contracts department to handle their many details. “You want to form relationships with carriers,” says the company’s Logistics Director Gary Kowaleski. One route to a good relationship is with a contract that leaves little to no interpretation. He suggests at least these items for a shipping contract: • Description

When is a barge faster than a truck?

Not long ago, transport company ATS International (ATSI) was contracted to ship 100 complete wind turbines. Nacelles and hubs came from Germany, towers were made in Korea, and blades were transported from a fabrication facility in Little Rock, Arkansas. The units were allocated to multiple projects in the Pacific Northwest. Due to permit and financing

Two cranes are better than one

The Port of Vancouver, Washington boasts two of the largest harbor cranes in North America. Each has a 140-metric ton capacity. The size allows reaching across a wide ship to unload heavy cargo. A 100-ton crane could have trouble unloading a Panamax-sized (wide) vessel because it cannot reach across the ship and pick up an

A high-yield turbine for low-wind locations

The N117/2400 from Nordex is the most recent addition to the company’s Gamma Generation of turbines. The model is intended for light-wind sites, creating power generating potential for previously nonviable locations across the nation. The company says that with a 2.4-MW max output, a 117-m rotor diameter, and a rotor sweep of 10,715 m2 (almost

How predicting failure improves reliability

Engineers working to increase product quality and reliability will find a working knowledge of statistics invaluable. Design teams can use a conventional test-and-improve cycle or a more formal DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, and control) sequence. However, this part of product development is too critical to simply toss “over the wall” to a test-department. Without

Three ways to improve performance and reliability

There are three methods for monitoring wind-turbine operations: wind-conditions monitoring, performance monitoring, and condition monitoring. The terms are thrown around so much that many in the industry are confused. Although the terms describe different tasks, they have the same goal: performance and reliability of the wind assets. An automotive analogy may be useful. For instance,

What’s community wind got over those mega farms?

Community wind refers to 100-kW to 100-MW projects owned in part by local community members, often land owners of the site. Though community wind represents only 4% of the overall wind market, it’s the fastest growing segment of the industry. The community-wind development model has several benefits over traditional absentee-owned mega farms. Landowners often have

Shock-absorbing lanyards can let you down

A quick-acting braking system that arrests falls within inches, not feet, has safety managers retiring conventional shock-absorbing lanyards. Instead, they favor compact, lightweight, personal fall limiters (PFLs), also known as self-retracting lifelines. As manufacturers introduce PFLs with 100% tie-off fall protection (dual or twin legs), workers can move safely anywhere on a job site without

Clever bolt tells when it’s tensioned

The wind industry recognizes the importance of proper bolt tension. The acknowledgement will challenge some of the industry’s torque-tightening practices as it matures and adopts more sophisticated technology to improve reliability and reduce maintenance costs. To start, let’s review current practices. For instance, bolts on turbines are often tightened in one of two ways: either

Lowering O&M costs in the Lone Star state

While the wind-swept ridge tops of the West Texas plains are ideal for generating wind power, harsh site conditions can degrade turbine blades due to erosion from dirt, hail, lightning strikes, insects, and other airborne particles. Plus, fatigue from the sun’s UV rays and other natural elements leave hairline cracks and gouges in the leading