What lubricants should be used in wind turbine gearboxes?

Recent advances in wind-energy lubrication are aimed at supporting increased turbine efficiency. Synthetic lubricants have received considerable attention mostly due to their reputation for improved performance over conventional mineral-based oils. A few specialized lubricants with characteristics intended for particular tasks include low-temperature fluidity and long oil life. Such lubricants provide benefits for difficult to maintain

What methods of condition monitoring are available for wind turbines?

Condition monitoring, as the name implies, monitors the condition of a component or project. The purpose of monitoring machinery health is to predict maintenance rather than reactively maintain the project. Essentially, there are three ways to operate a wind turbine: Wait until something fails, then repair it Replace components regardless of their condition at a

 How have hydraulic filters changed in the last few years?

Filter elements are rated on their ability to remove contaminants of specific targeted sizes from a fluid under specific operating conditions. Filtration ratings can be measured by analyzing three areas of performance: 1. Dirt holding capacity 2. Absolute rating (micron) and percent efficiency (beta ratio) 3. Pressure drop across the element at a specific absolute

How are manufacturers working to reduce cost of electrical components on wind farms?

Wind energy plant developers, owners and operators all face uncertainty about how undefined tax laws and structures—the U.S. wind production tax credits in particular—may impact a plant’s financial picture. There is increased focus on finding ways to make projects financially viable without tax incentives like the PTCs, particularly from a cost standpoint. This focus has

Why should owners replace conventional obstruction lights with LED versions?

If your company was a pioneer in the wind industry, your portfolio includes wind farms from the 80’s, 90’s, or early 2000s. More than likely, you still have older strobe or incandescent lighting products installed on those turbines and have been debating whether to replace them. As with any technology, there have been continual improvements

What new construction challenges come from the changing wind industry?

Construction projects that run smoothly and on schedule are certainly not free of obstacles. Working in the wind industry for nearly 20 years, we’ve come to expect challenges associated with unpredictable weather and wind conditions, uncertainty around equipment deliveries and difficult permitting processes–among other issues. Project planning and execution strategies have been affected by the

How can you prevent encoder failure in wind turbines?

Encoders are a forgotten component in wind turbines—at least until they fail. Wind turbines are a challenging application for encoders, something many OEMs and end-users discover just after installation. The constant vibration and thrust is tough on tiny encoder bearings (and for absolute encoders it’s tough on internal gearboxes). Another problem is temperature cycling combined

How can the industry prepare for the logistics of offshore wind?

In the next few years, at least five offshore wind projects will hit U.S. waters. As developers prepare for construction, port facilities must also make preparations to support these projects. So what might an ideal port look like? According to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, one developer suggests a port would need a 1,000-ton crane

AWEA WINDPOWER 2015 Day 3 in review

Floor traffic still seemed modest in the middle day (Wednesday) of the show but exhibitors seemed content that the right people were walking the aisles. The day started with a keynote presentation by college professor at the Wharton School of Business and author of the book Contagious: How things catch on, Jonah Berger. His message

Photoblog: AWEA WINDPOWER 2015, Day Three