DNV GL recently announced its latest Joint Industry Project (JIP), aiming to develop a safe and reliable calculation concept for the life-time of slewing bearings, which will increase the reliability of wind turbines.
Extreme weather, heavy loads, and remote locations are some of the challenges for wind turbines, requiring the highest level of reliability for the equipment to ensure the future viability of the wind energy market. Aiming to increase the safety and reliability in slewing bearings, the new JIP will work with stakeholders from across the industries to cooperatively decrease the damages in the field. The knowledge generated from the JIP is planned to be ultimately incorporated in a DNV GL recommended practice or standard.
The JIP initiative was spurred by the realization that the wind industry lacked a strong life-time calculation concept in this field, which carries a potential risk for future developments and investments. By developing a reliable calculation concept for slewing bearings, energy stakeholders will be able to work towards realistic operational lifetime estimations, offering the possibility of an efficient design process and a reduction of the manufacturing costs.
Furthermore, the risk for damages in the field is reduced and substantial operation and maintenance costs can be avoided in the future, which is an essential factor in the wind business.
The JIP will be launched at the beginning of 2015 with a kick-off meeting including all selected partners, from wind turbine designers and manufacturers to manufacturers of slewing bearings, as well as owners and operators of wind farms. The JIP is planned to run until the end of 2016.
“With the global rise of wind energy, the need for a comprehensive standard securing turbine reliability is stronger than ever,” says Andreas Schröter, executive vice president at DNV GL. “The successful deployment of tomorrow’s wind turbine equipment requires clarity and widespread agreement on rules and regulations. This counts particularly for the development of safe and reliable calculation concepts for the life-time of slewing bearings.”
Incorporating the experience and objectives of stakeholders along the wind energy value chain will add significant value for all parties involved. They will be able to contribute and influence the development of the calculation criteria to ensure their concerns are covered, practices are acknowledged, and the objectives of all stakeholders are met. The involvement provides early access and insight into the results, ensuring participants are best prepared for its implementation.