The turbulent business of wind turbine maintenance

Two technicians maintaining a wind turbine

Ever since the 1970s, when green energy first became a hot topic thanks the heating up of Planet Earth itself, the question of the best source of renewable energy has been on people’s minds.

Although the topic is divisive to this day for many, the market seems to have made up its mind, and those in the know can see which way the winds are blowing.

Windmills have come a long way from their humble beginnings in the 16th century to blowing away their competition as most used and produced form of renewable energy as of today. And they have been only able to achieve this thanks to the work of the many wind farms of the world.

However, there are some issues standing in the way of these farms’ continued prosperity. What are they, and how can they be fixed? Well, to find out, you’ll have to keep on reading.

Predicting and preventing malfunctions

A wind farm owner’s goal should always be to keep the energy steadily pouring in to satisfy their customers while preventing unnecessary money loss. However, there is a lot that goes into that. Namely, operations and maintenance depend on several factors – wind farm size, the size and age of individual wind turbines themselves, etc.

However, most important is to monitor operation closely and focus on preventive/scheduled maintenance rather than reactive/unscheduled maintenance, as unexpected turbine failure results in a loss of produced energy and a loss of profit.

Thankfully, there are many resources and tools farm owners and maintenance specialists can use to stay on top of what needs to be done. First and foremost, turbines come fitted with sensors attached to various parts of the apparatus, which feed the responsible person relevant information regarding power output, vibrations, rotation speed, etc.

Furthermore, various institutes, like the agricultural commission of Schleswig Holstein in Germany, have monitored the frequency and type of malfunctions sustained on their wind farms and put out analytical resources regarding their findings, such as the one below.

Failure rates and outage time of wind turbine components

Equipping the right people with the right tools

Operating a wind farm is not something you can do by yourself. Indeed, it requires a fairly sizable team of capable individuals to keep the whole thing up and running. However, there are things you can do to help your team in dealing with their responsibilities.

Starting with maintenance supervisors, these employees handle the administrative side, such as planning, scheduling, reporting, etc. To best aid them in their efforts, you should consider incorporating a CMS into your operation, which can track the current performance of your wind farm, its past malfunctions and even offer predictive information such as the graph displayed above.

Then, there are the wind turbine technicians, also known as “windtechs”, who risk their lives daily working in the vertigo-inducing altitudes of wind turbines.

According to research, being a windetch is one of the seven most dangerous jobs you can have in the power industry. So, it’s no surprise these workers are under considerable pressure while out on the job.

Luckily, you can offer these heroic individuals the tools to help them breathe easy in the breeze.

wind farm, wind turbines

Namely, a digital checklist can equip them with a comprehensive run-down with all the check-ups they need to perform, allowing them to focus on their safety and the moment-to-moment precision of the job.

Furthermore, the interactive checklist can be incorporated into the aforementioned CMS and thus promote effective communication between supervisor and specialist, without any added hassle.

Its inclusion can also dramatically improve your ability to foresee malfunctions you could not otherwise, and carry out preventive maintenance on your gear.

But hey, as they say, it is better to see once than to hear it a thousand times. So, head over to Resco and give the Windturbine Maintenance Checklist a try for yourself!

illustration of checklist

Windturbine Maintenance Manual

Download a free Windturbine Maintenance Manual that is ready for a visual inspection of both the interior and exterior of a turbine generator, damage report, and engine assesment.

It’s easy to incorporate into your inspections and can be tweaked and customized to suit your company’s and employees’ needs perfectly!

And should you be in the market for any other solutions regarding inspections, reporting and maintenance, look no further than our Resco Digital Template Library!