As WINDPOWER 2015 wraps up in Orlando, the overall message from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) is one of urgency for continued wind advocacy. The industry has come a long way if the technology on the show floor was any indication (there were data-collecting drones, various predictive wind software options, unique cordless tools, and new blade and gearbox repair services to name a few), but there is a ways to go yet if the industry is to meet the Department of Energy’s Wind Vision goals.
Those goals start with U.S. wind power doubling its capacity from where it is today to 10% of the electricity mix by 2020.
As Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy and AWEA Board Chairman, stated during a panel session during the WINDPOWER event: “What we do now will determine our success for years to come. Let’s do our part and remind everyone that wind energy helps everyone, that wind is American’s clean, domestic, and cheap fuel.”
Below are a few companies attempting to do just that by having showcased their latest products or services at the show. Next year, WINDPOWER 2016 will take place in New Orleans. Hopefully, we’ll see how these and similar technologies positively impact the wind industry between now and then.
Torque Gun, a Hytorc company, offers a bolting system that doesn’t require hoses, cords, or reaction arms. The Lithium Series dual-speed torque gun that was on display at the show provides the speed and convenience of a pneumatic tool without the noise, vibration, or load variation. These torque guns can be set to a desired bolt load and locked in to repeat on each nut. They use custom-engineered, precision planetary gearings to assure accuracy and reliability.
Klüber Lubrication showcased its synthetic, high-performance gear oil and grease for wind turbine components, including Klübersynth AG 14-61. This adhesive, white lubricant is formulated for open gears, promising ample coverage and easy application at low temperatures. Klübersynth AG 14-61 is designed for girth gear/pinion drives and yaw plain bearings in wind turbines.
Through a comprehensive approach to full lifecycle management of wind turbine gearboxes called DriveMAX, Broadwind Energy is refurbishing gearboxes and making them better than new with third-party validation from Sentient Science.
Moog Components Group presented a direct replacement pitch control slip ring for the Suzlon S88 wind turbine. Moog’s new unit provides a direct connection to the gearbox with wire terminal connections in the stator and rotor junction boxes. Each unit is also hipped with a heater already installed for cold-weather installations.
PSI Repair Services presented an extensive range of product upgrade capabilities offered to wind farm O&M personnel. The most common product upgrade service performed is printed circuit boards. In certain scenarios, PSI engineers provide new replacement circuit boards with enhanced technology. PSI has also provided upgrades on the GE 1.5-MW S Series Xantrex Matrix and the Clipper 2.5-MW Xantrex Inverter. The convenient drop-in replacement solutions allow wind farms to upgrade components while keeping turbines online.
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