You wouldn't drive your car without regular oil changes and tire rotations, so why would you treat your wind farm any differently? A wind turbine is a costly, long-term project that can be compromised if you don't factor in maintenance. Just like a car needs oil changes or filter replacements, wind turbines also require periodic servicing to retain peak performance. Without regular tune-ups, your investment will be blown away by costly repairs and lost power generation.
Complete maintenance of a turbine requires the ongoing services of a team of technicians. The technicians are trained to go through a detailed checklist that ranges from items such as, "a check and inspection of the mechanical and electrical system to bolt tightening.
Each of the turbines has sensors at various parts. The turbines have a permanent data connection that goes to a monitoring center were technicians or engineers monitor the turbine twenty-four hours, seven days a week".
In the event of a performance disruption, our service people either make adjustments from the control room or, if necessary, we dispatch technicians to site with precise support instructions.
Most problems can be resolved by just resetting remotely. On-site O&M work presents three unique challenges for technicians. One is working more than 200 feet in the air, another is being exposed to what is often very harsh weather and the third is working in the nacelle's very tight quarters.
Despite mechanical variations, turbine maintenance typically involves:
- Changing oil, belts, bearing lubrication, and air filters
- Testing and realigning shafts and hydraulic components
- Inspecting for oil leaks, cracks, and brake pads
- Torquing tower bolts